Att vara en kropp
Från gammal blogg om viktnedgång. Blir nästan extra roligt när det kommer efter de senaste dagarnas aktivitet.
I had a sort of non-realization yesterday. (In that I formulated it to myself and had a semi-aha moment, but I think it’s something I’ve been pondering subconsciously for a while.)
One of the things I’ve been hoping, half-consciously, will come from this weight loss, is not to feel hot, or feel that others think I’m hot, but that I will experience my body as a non-entity.
What that means to me is not being semi-constantly aware of my body as it relates to people around me. Not searching for reflective surfaces to see if I look OK from a purely fleshly perspective. Not wondering what people are thinking — if they’re judging my chubby arms, if they’re evaluating exactly how wide my ass is, if they’re thinking I really shouldn’t have gone out in clothes that reveal my shape. And this is maybe half my inner worry and paranoia, half skewed perception of reality, and a quarter or a fifth actual people judging me. (I know that’s more than 1/1, but I do have a very wide ass.)
The problem, of course, is that this is not possible.
We are all socialized to evaluate and judge, to examine, women’s bodies — to see woman as body. If they are not (or I don’t think they are) examining me as Fat Woman, they will still be examining me as Woman. And, accordingly, if I am not worried about if I have visible folds on my back, I will worry about my (smaller?) ass looks in a particular pair of pants, or if my big feet make me look like an ambulatory L. And, perhaps, I will be viewed instead as a woman-as-sexual-being. Still evaluated and looked-upon. (We can’t escape our to-be-looked-at-ness. And I, it would seem, cannot escape my academic side.)
I wrote before about trying to align fat-positive and feminist with intentionally losing weight. Something I didn’t include then was the idea of subversivity. As a fat woman, whether you like it or not, you are a subversive statement. You, your body, imply that there are alternatives to the norms and standards that society holds for the female form.
And I liked that. I liked serving/acting as a subtle reminder — even if people didn’t think of me as an alternative, but as a deviation, a perversion, or even a tragic tale of caution, even if I didn’t actively force people to question and change their perceptions, I was an inescapable Other. There was a certain pleasure in, solely by accepting and being happy with myself, giving a big middle finger to the patriarchal and capitalist system that tried to Hold Me Down, man. (It’s possible that I was scarier to fit and fat-paranoid women than someone more obese, because I was an example of what could happen if you just Let Yourself Go a little. Hm. I will think on this particular idea some more.)
I’m still, and probably will be even at goal weight, a subversive form, at least with my clothes on. I dress to feel like I look good, sure, but my aesthetic tends to deviate from the idea of feminine dress. This is largely because I am a very comfort-centric person. In addition, I am built big — even at goal, I will never be slender or willowy. I have broad shoulders. My goal is a fit and muscled one. I have tattoos, which are often visible in warm-ish weather or indoor settings. But if I am closer to the imagined ideal, I gain some acceptance and become Woman as Woman-Body, a more sexy and sexual being, subversive or no.
I think it was when I was reading through the archives at Every Woman Has an Eating Disorder that I came upon the question of when you were last unaware of your body. Maybe that’s what sparked this thinking. I will never have the luxury (again?) of experiencing my body as a non-entity.
I am a woman, I will never be ”just” a person.