Something changes when a person acknowledges that they are in fact comfortable with a part of themselves that they are taught to feel shame of. People become quiet, or they yell at you, or they become quiet – like crickets quiet – because they cannot fathom how someone could be ok with being something that they hate about themselves. I have never been this outspoken about my own personal body politics as I have been in the last 6 months. Sure my close friends know some details on my own beliefs but to the extent that has been laid out as of late is completely different. To be honest I’m sick of hiding, of allowing others around me to continue to pollute my own life with the bullshit shame that they feel about their own bodies. To allow them to make me feed bad because I won’t partake in their own self distruction.
A perfect example of this is with my family. My mom has spent the last 8 years of my life listening to me preach about being body positive, and while she isn’t completely with me, she still drove from DC to Detroit for the BODYSLAM! On the other hand I have family in the area who are comepletely silent when it comes to the recent work that I have been doing, even though they are just as connected with what I am working on as they are.
It is in their own silence that they speak volumes.
By being silent they are admitting to me that they don’t feel comfortable about the idea that you can actually love yourself and be fat. Or thin. Or anything.
I’m ok with the silence at the moment, the yelling and the comments that they think I won’t see. This is the side of right, living without shame and working toward ending discrimination.
If that makes you uncomfortable, you should ask yourself why.