Wednesday, May 20, 2015

On Bodies


Fair warning, this is a longer post, and it gets a little personal. But I wanted to talk about bodies today. I touched a tiny bit on this earlier, when I first mentioned adding more sizes to my Epidemic pattern, and now that it's live again I thought it was as good a time as any to talk more about it.

My personal philosophy is that there is no such thing as a bad body. Full stop, no exceptions. All bodies are perfect and all bodies are beautiful, based solely on the fact that they are our bodies. Our bodies are miracles of genetic adaptation-they keep us safe, they keep us alive, they keep our brains provided with nutrients and oxygen so that we can exist as humans, and do all sorts of human-y things, like thinking deep thoughts and making good art and loving each other.

I did not always love my body. I struggled for years with self-esteem and body image. I hated myself; I couldn't stand to look at my reflection or pictures of me. I had self-deprecation down to an art, and I knew how to dress so I would stay hidden from the world, and I knew what to tell myself so that I wouldn't make the mistake of thinking I could actually be a worthwhile person. 

It took a lot of time for me to be able to love my body exactly as it is. Changing your thinking like that is hard work-it took years of me constantly telling myself things I didn't necessarily believe for me to get where I am now. I love the proportions of my face. I love the shape of my eyes. I love how strong my legs are, and I love that my belly jiggles a little bit when I walk. I love that I'm short, and flexible, so I can curl up into the corner of the sofa easily. I love my scars and my moles and my messed-up toenail and my uneven jaw. My body does great things for me, and it is a good body.

On the other hand, there are days when I hate my body. I'm diabetic, which means my body kind of stinks at taking care of itself. I've gotten really good at helping it out though, and we make a pretty good team, but I get bad days when I'm sick and exhausted and I yell and swear at my body and I feel broken and useless. There are bad days when I wonder what the point is of a body that can't take care of itself, and I get filled with fear and frustration and anger that my body isn't "good enough." Those days are rough. But my body is really great at letting me know when it needs me to step in and help it out, and it's pretty cool that my body can do that.

And the thing is, even though every body is different, they're all really similar. All our bodies let us know when it's time to eat, or sleep, or cry. Heck, our bodies can even make us crave certain foods when we're missing a certain vitamin-how awesome is that? Every body does fantastic, marvelous things, and they are all so amazing just by virtue of being a living body, and that makes them perfect and beautiful.

I can't stress this enough: every body is perfect by virtue of its existence. It doesn't matter what size or shape it is, how healthy or ill it is, if it's lumpy or pointy or strong or weak. None of that matters. All bodies do incredible things. All bodies are good bodies.

And so all of this comes down to me feeling very strongly that since all bodies are perfect and amazing and beautiful, everyone deserves clothes that fit them and that they feel comfortable in. And comfort is hugely subjective, but it's also the singular most important aspect of style there is. And you know what isn't comfortable? Not being able to find clothes or patterns that will fit or accommodate your perfect, kick-ass body.

8 comments:

  1. Kat you are awesome! thank you for sharing

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  2. Well said!!!! And I couldn't agree more. It isn't always easy to love your body, but we need to remind ourselves how amazing our bodies really are and all the great stuff they do for us. And a body like that certainly deserves nice clothes that fit :)

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    1. Thank you! It's so easy to get caught up in what our bodies look like instead of what they can do-and they can do pretty cool things :)

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  3. Yes, all of this! Our bodies are complex and wonderful things, and every body deserves to be treated with respect and love. A great fit for the body we've got - right now - is a small but powerful way of honoring it. Thank you for sharing, and for starting this conversation, Kat!

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    1. Thank you! I feel like our community in general is moving more this direction, but it's still so easy to get caught up in disparaging ourselves. Our bodies are amazing, complex things, and they deserve all the love we can give them.

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  4. so true! I love that you are contributing to the message that we are ALL good enough, because all bodies are good bodies. so many women (regardless of sizes or weight) struggle with this their entire lives, and never feel that they are good enough. What a terrible and unnecessary burden. There is a Diane Vreeland quote that totally rocks my socks, and is very similar- instead of 'pretty' substitute 'thin' or 'conventionally idealized body type from whatever your culture prefers' : https://www.pinterest.com/pin/82894449367377515/

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    1. I love that quote! It's such a difficult balance, trying to find a way to feel comfortable with your body while recognizing that you don't owe prettiness, etc. to anybody. It's so frustrating seeing beautiful, strong, capable women struggle with feeling good enough-we are ALL good enough, regardless of what that might look like :)

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