What do you think when you see this photo? I think it's utterly life affirming, full of joy and love and beauty.
Maybe some people see middle aged butts and feel affronted, disappointed, disgusted?
I don't know. People are odd.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine liked/shared/commented on a face book picture. I like this person, but I don't like their face book feed or a lot of their opinions - they make me feel uncomfortable, frustrated sometimes. This particular picture was a gif of a close up of a white woman's tanned fake boobs being slowly unzipped from their stretch top. You know the sort of thing. Then the picture changes at the last minute before the reveal and all of a sudden you see the rear view of a fat woman in only a t-shirt doing a cartwheel on the grass. And it's captioned 'definition of disappointment' or something like that.
I forgot to copy it, mostly because I was so pissed off at the mentality behind it. For me, so many levels of wrong.
I'm as guilty of lookism as the next person (well, ok, maybe not *as* guilty, but definitely guilty.) I've a very muscle bound cross fit French guy in my class who stretches all the time, and it's ... distracting. We're all attracted to beauty. Who doesn't love the sight of a purty butt?
But I don't believe for a second we owe strangers on the street or on the internet anything in terms of the way we look. We don't need to work to keep our butts firm for the greater public gaze. If cellulite or flab offend you, look the other way. Humans are not built for your obhectification.
I don't even need to go on, do I?
The other issue is more personal. The cartwheeling woman could have been me, if I could do cartwheels... I mean, her body shape was my own. Now, I'm pretty much the greatest critic of
my own body that will ever exist. Chances are no one else is ever going to see it again in as much detail as I see it myself. I haven't reconciled myself to loving it unconditionally yet - I hope I get there before I die. It's exhausting, self hatred. It's a full time job that saps you of energy and motivation. I wish the kind of people who evince disgust at random strangers for how they look could understand that.
The thing is, that woman doing an unashamed and joyous cartwheel, celebrating her strength and ability and aliveness in the sunshine - that picture was so much more beautiful that the Californian cliche of the silicone boobs and sunbed tan and extreme thinness that the media offers us as the ideal.
It's cold outside the bubble of body positivity I sometimes frequent on the internet. It's hard to see how little we're developing as human beings.
And so... poo to the stupid fuckers who think they're deserving of clichéd stripteases and need protecting from the happy butt of a chubby lady. An antidote in the form of the Adipositivity project.