“My big, soft belly. My earliest memories that my body was "wrong." A site of torment and trauma that taught me that I, myself, was shameful. Self-inflicting harm in the hope that it would protect me. From a world that hates fat people and men who are soft, physically and emotionally. "Casual" comments, and their impact that I tried to ignore. To acknowledge them fully, would mean being too soft in both body and spirit.
My big, soft belly. As men, we must be hard and angular, like chiseled impenetrable statues. Unchanged by external conditions- seasons, quarantines, life events, traumas, systemic oppression and emotions. We are told that our bodies reflect our inner-state, and that we must always be in control. Of our lives, our emotions, "our women," and our bodies. We are taught that a lean and muscular physique is the prize of self-control and that this is worthy of unending obsession as we sacrifice our joy at the altars of these lifeless statues that we worship. All of the trauma, self-hate, self-punishing exercise and food restrictions I put on myself had to be worth it, right? The more the better. Resentful of friends who got "credit" for their leanness when they didn't have to harm themselves like I had in order to achieve it. Of course, I received some specialized awards for how dutifully I slit my throat and let the softness bleed out of me, as I watched myself harden to stone.
My big, soft belly. Bigger and softer than ever before. As my personhood and spirit blossoms and grows, my body and my belly does as well. Symbiotically, they support the growth of each other. As my healing takes deeper root, it supports me in growing in wild, uncontainable, and unknowable ways. What would be possible, if we could see the growth of our bodies as intricately connected to healing our our spirits, our relationships with our bodies, food, movement, and to the world around us?
My dad's big, soft belly. Like mine. Too unique and beautiful to fit into the hard boxes created to contain soft men. I feel his pain, like I feel my own. My softness allows it. And he is gentle, kind, empathetic...soft. Our softness is magic. There is beauty in our softness.”
#selflove #selfhate #selfacceptance #beyourself #loveyourself #guestpost #bodyimage #selfesteem #feminism #equality