I don’t have a thigh gap. And in this moment I’m not working toward having one. Stunning, I know. Imagine that. I get it, it’s not news that women are held to impossibly high standards when it comes to what our bodies are suppose to look like. If women are not thin, you’re expected to be working toward being thin and therefore beautiful. If you embrace yourself the way you are and dare to be comfortable in your own skin — you’re an outlier. And there will be comments. You will be called “Courageous” (an underhanded compliment if you think about it), or snickered at…
Women have actually become comfortable body shaming themselves and their food. It’s normal as a woman to feel comfortable being uncomfortable. “Watching our weight” is not something that women are doing now and then; it’s something women are doing all the time. I’m surrounded by it. I do it. And I am constantly in resistance to it and fighting against a way of being that is engrained in me.
This culture shames my food, my body and my sexuality and I am in a constant war within myself, just like you may be, to keep my food, my body and my sexuality in a place of not only acceptance- but in a place of celebration.
And does all of this body and food shaming impact our relationship with our erotic nature? How could it not? The dark side of food and sexuality being connected is the more we feel shamed about our body size the more we close it all down. Fat people are not suppose to enjoy lavish food — or really any food. And the side effect is that we become contracted in our sexuality — our sexual expression, and we become closet eaters who refuse to be seen naked by our lovers. And here’s what is killing me. Self love and sexuality are STILL BEING POSITIONED with THINNESS — right now, even among some of my sex educator colleagues.
If you loved yourself more — the implication is that you would be thin and then therefore, more sexual, is still the message. We body shame ourselves posting our “fat” pictures and our “thin” pictures. Please stop.
Reclaiming our sexuality, and coming back to our bodies does not equate with “thinness” — we will never be thin enough — there will always be something wrong — and you will always be a “fat” person armored up in your muscled fit body. All of this is a trap. Just ask a thin person.
Why am I talking about this? Because I want us all to be fat? No. I just want to continue to support us looking at the relationship between our food, our bodies and our sexuality. It’s the holy trinity of living a life of joy and not shame. And there is rebellion afoot — and I want to encourage you to be a part of it.
Put your consciousness to it every day. Don’t numb out the feelings.
Be in rebellion against the messages no matter what your body size.
Pamela Madsen runs retreats around the country to help women re-connect to their bodies and sensuous nature and is author of the book; “Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner” (Rodale 2011).
It’s a practice. I practice every day.