This post is a little different. I first posted about 4 years ago on a different forum. It’s not really about polyamory. Although it’s not totally irrelevant because I’m not sure I would have had the confidence to date others and be poly if my mindset were what it used to be. Hope you enjoy!
I spent most of my adolescence and early adulthood not liking my body. I believed I was too chubby. Too short. My breasts were too small. I wasn’t athletic or flexible. My butt was too big. My face would not launch a single small rowboat let alone a ship or a thousand.
I begrudgingly, but unquestionably accepted the fact that I would not attract many people in my life. While I could be talented and intelligent and kind, my physical appearance would always be a hindrance to my happiness and relative success in life. That is what I was taught. That is what I believed.
I’d like to say that I overcame my perceptions early on, but that’s not exactly true. My self doubt held me back. I lived much of my life afraid– sometimes of failure, sometimes of success and attention. It affected the opportunities I allowed myself to have. I’ve done ok for myself regardless and for that I am proud. And I am happy to say that as it relates to my body image that all my perceptions have dramatically shifted over the past few short years ago due to a series of epiphanies:
- Epiphany 1- I was too chubby for what? Too short for what? My breasts were too small for what? I realized there were very few things that I wanted to do that my body actually prevented me from doing.
- Epiphany 2- Attraction to particular body features is a matter of very personal preference varying wildly from person to person. There is no perfect weight, height, or boob size, hair color, nose, etc. They each have their own practical advantages and disadvantages. The same features will be found to be attractive or unattractive depending on the viewer. Some people find me attractive. Plus, see epiphany 3.
- Epiphany 3- It truly honestly (really!) doesn’t matter what other people think about my body. My value is not defined by my physical appearance. Other people have their own crosses to bear- their negative judgement about me is really a reflection of their own insecurities. Meanwhile positive judgement is always welcome, but it does not determine my value as a person.
- Epiphany 4- I do not control everything about my body but I do have influence. I can lose weight, I can train to be more athletic/flexible, I can wear makeup, I can dress in more flattering ways, I could have plastic surgery, I could get braces. IF- and here’s the important point- I want to. I, and I alone have control over those choices. There is nothing I should do, or need to do so long as I am satisfied with my body, regardless of what other people say I should or need to change (See epiphany #3 again). But I can, and knowing that I can is a very empowering feeling.
I have two working legs and my body takes me everywhere I care to go. I can run and climb rocks and play tennis and row boats. My fingers allow me to gently stroke the fur of my chinchillas or a nice boy’s (or girl’s!) hair. My skin is a wonderland of sensuous pleasures and a perfect canvas for exquisite pain. My arms are soft and made for cuddling. My breasts which are still comparatively small can still serve as a distraction for wandering eyes and a placeholder for warm hands. My lips smile often. My hands can do many many amazing things.
There are many things my body is not and cannot do, but all of us have different capabilities and strengths. I am no longer ashamed of my body. It’s awesome, and it has beautiful features. I like my body.