Taking up Space

I am feeling determined.

On tumblr I see posts every day about how girls want to starve their beautiful precious bodies to look better or wear that crop top or those thigh high socks and it hurts me inside and it makes me angry and sad that we have a society where people destroying their bodies is so common.

Once upon a time I was a small girl with a big belly who felt sad because no boys would go for her and craved male attention. I got male attention, I got it all over my thighs and my bum and they laughed at me and called me a slut but still I felt unloved and unworthy of love.

I stopped looking, but when I stopped looking I found someone I really love and even that did not fix me, because humans do not fix each other, they fix themselves.

I stopped eating and my belly shrank flat and my ribs protruded and my mind broke. I am still scared, so scared, of going back to that place.

I grew bigger, back to a healthy weight, back to stretch marks and daily exercise and going to the gym. My weight cycled. It would have done that even if I hadn't been stressed and scared.

I am still scared, so scared, of slipping back every time that my mother mentions I need to lose weight or my friend posts that she's too fat. I still forget to eat.

But I am also furious. I am furious that anyone should have to destroy themselves in the name of beauty.

I am not a girl anymore. I am a woman with the agency and determination to tell bigoted beauty standards to fuck off. I will wear short sleeves and show off my scars. I will wear crop tops and show off my midriff. I will wear shorts and thigh high socks and show you legs that I built up to be beautiful and strong.

My belly still isn't flat and I'm coming to terms with that. I'm coming to terms with the knowledge that very few women, including very thin women, have flat bellies. It's not because we're all fat, it's because there are vital organs in there. My thighs are huge and I wouldn't change them for the world. They are huge because I walk everywhere, because I swim, because I cycle, because I run, because I dance. They are powerful, powerful enough to crush anyone's stupid beauty standards between them.

I can't be a tall, skinny, conventionally beautiful woman. But some people find me interesting and others find me sexy and that is enough.

When I stopped eating, I didn't want to drop a dress size or two dress sizes or 20 kg. I wanted to fade away into nothing. I didn't want to take up space.

But here I am, taking up that space. If you're inconvenienced by that, so what? I'm inconvenienced by feelings that I have to damage myself to take up less space.

I am going to wear crop tops and shorts and thigh high socks and take up as much space as I damn please. I might not look conventionally beautiful doing it, but when I've got interest and sheer ballsy petulance aplenty I'll make up for that.