Well, whaddya know. Guess who fell into a big pile of self loathing in the past 24 hours. Yup, you’re looking at her. (Ok smart arses, you’re READING her!)
Yes, it still happens. As positive and as confident as I get, sometimes it just happens and there’s no rhyme or reason for it. Yesterday, I wrote my previous post for the New Year’s Revolution, was feeling good, and spent considerable time posting body positive messages to my Tumblr until midnight rolled around and it was 2011. I was feeling good.
But then, in preparation for going to the beach with my friend Kerri today, before I went to bed I decided to pull out my swimmers and pack my stuff up ready to go again. I got a pair of new swimmers on sale the other day, so I planned to wear those. I tried them on (I knew they’d fit, but I wanted to make sure the straps on the shoulders were the right length) and looked in my full length mirror… and it hit.
In hindsight, it’s because the top half of the swimsuit had NO bust support. Which meant that my magnificent rack of doom had nowhere to go but down. And it was uncomfortable, no – PAINFUL. But instead of doing what I should have done, which is cursed out the manufacturers of a size 26 swimsuit, it became a spiral of self loathing. I hated my breasts. I hated my belly. I hated my thighs. I hated my back. I hated my chin.
I agonised over that damn swimsuit and my body for a good hour. Eventually I decided to put it away and wear my old swimsuit (which I only bought last year) which also doesn’t have adequate bust support in it, but I can wear a bra under that one and it isn’t visible. I can at least know my back and chest aren’t going to hurt because I’m properly supported by a bra.
Just an aside, who the hell makes a size 26 swimsuit without adequate bust support and thinks that’s ok? Who do they think is going to wear this? Ok not every size 26 woman has big breasts, but wouldn’t it be better to have too much bust support than none at all?
Swimsuit designers, manufacturers and retailers, here is what I want. I want a two piece swimsuit, the bottom half doesn’t matter that much, briefs, skirt, shorts… whatever, I prefer the shorts but will wear the others. But the top half, I want a HALTER necked tankini style top, with fucking UNDERWIRE and proper adjustable halter-neck so that I can fit the damn thing properly, and not have my boobs dragging my back and shoulders and chest down. I want one that has REAL support, like a proper bra, but is made of decent swimsuit fabric, in cute colours and prints, and I want you to put a reasonable price tag on it. Not $300, but under $100. If my size 12 friend with B cup tits can get this, why the fuck wouldn’t you be making it for people with bigger breasts? SERIOUSLY.
Off to bed I went last night, feeling crappy. I woke up feeling crappy. Yes, in the midst of all the body positivity of the New Years Revolution campaign, all my talk about giving up dieting and self loathing and so on, it hit me.
Because it does. It doesn’t just go away overnight. It doesn’t go away at all really. And no matter how immersed you are in fat acceptance, body positivity and surrounding activism, it still whomps you on the arse unexpectedly at times. Some days you just can’t avoid it.
However, now that I’ve got through today, I think it’s a good thing that it happened to me when it did. Because then I can share with all of you that it still happens, it still sucks… yet we survive. We go on. We keep going with this body positivity and fat acceptance stuff… because it really, truly does make it better.
Because of being part of fat acceptance, I was able to take a moment this morning, acknowledge that I felt crappy, and then consciously ask myself what I could do to try to make myself feel better. The first thing for me is music. I made sure I was armed with a couple of songs on my iPod that I know just lift my mood. The second thing was to pop online and go through my Tumblr stream. Sometimes, I need to hear those body positivity messages too.
Most importantly, I knew that the best thing I could do was put my damn swimsuit on (with bra on underneath), grab my stuff and get my arse out the door.
Kerri picked me up, I put my happy song on in her car, and I spent the day with my friend who makes me feel good about myself. I went to the beach as planned, chucked off my sarong and went and got in the water. I swam and fell over and laughed and got sand in places where sand should just not be, I swallowed great gobs of salt water, I talked with my amazing friend about life, the universe and everything, I let the power of the ocean take over and spent a good hour and a half being hammered about in warm salty water. Then we went and got changed into comfy maxi dresses (I wore this one), headed up to Australia Fair, got a decent feed and wandered around the shops together. I saw a dude who was so smoking hot that he took my breath away, our eyes met and we had a flirty moment. Kez and I talked some more, laughed some more, shopped some more and then had a ridiculously flavoured coffee before heading home, salty, sandy, sunburnt and sleepy… but feeling great for having spent the day hanging out together.
When I hit the shower as soon as I got home, I realised I didn’t hate my body any more. I was angry at the damn swimsuit manufacturers/designers/retailers for not providing me with adequately made swimsuits.
This is how it works my lovelies. Through giving up the dieting and trying to change your body to something it is not, and focusing on caring for yourself, building up your self esteem, working through the tough bits, immersing yourself in positivity, surrounding yourself with people who build you up, not tear you down and living your life to it’s absolute fullest, you get through the bad times. You learn to be able to put in place the strategies you need to get back on track.
But most importantly, you don’t miss out on all the good stuff, like spending the day at the beach with a dear friend, because you’re too filled with shame and self loathing to put on a damn swimsuit.
Now if you don’t mind, I’ve got to go shake more sand out of uncomfortable places.