It’s Your Body

It appears my scale-free journey has triggered a focus on body confidence. So let’s continue adding in other common issues that make people fear others’ views of their body.

Our local jimjilbang that I’ve visited a few times a week for these last two years has offered up a plethora of people watching opportunities. One of the most important being the tub area where all must be naked for hygiene and traditional purposes. It doesn’t matter how you feel about your body, you’re either naked in the tubs or off visiting the rest of the spa in your oh so flattering uniform of gigantic shirt and long baggy shorts. Sexy right? That’s the point, it’s not a place to see & be seen. The pressure is off.

The tub areas are separated by gender which takes a lot of the ‘oh no!’ qualities out of it. I’m happy to say I’ve seen trans-women and others in a beautiful spectrum of sexualities, races, & sizes in attendance get to enjoy their time like everyone else, it’s not an issue. Either no one cares or they know to keep it to themselves. I’ve visited over 320 times and I haven’t met one person who’s dared to insult or act in a shaming matter based on another’s physical appearance. With this behavior, we create a world where none of that superficial bs has an effect. There’s a general respect for each other, everyone has insecurities about their naked body, but this is where they feel free. I’ve never seen anyone mock, insult, or otherwise make someone who was outside of the norm feel bad about themselves. Even the ones without a leg, over a few hundred lbs, or covered in scars.

A few of the women I’ve spoken to love coming here for that exact reason. They learn that there’s no need to feel self-conscious even in a room of naked people, no matter what their color, shape, size, or amount of limbs they may have. I met a woman who’s right torso was pure burn scars who said that this is the only place she goes without her shirt on. They aren’t made to feel poorly about themselves to satisfy some other person’s insecurities. Neither are the women with mastectomies or lumpectomies, amputations, scarring, burns, or anyone else I do not remember at the moment. They’re comfortable.

So my question, yelled like so many others before me, is “Why in the fracking hell aren’t we allowed to be comfortable in public?” Why is it acceptable to point, snicker, or directly confront someone about their size or other physical difference? It’s not, but it happens anyway. I remember it distinctly and witnessed this in many ways. In my own life, Hannah had a dog bite a few years ago, 100 stitches, 50 on the outside. She has a scar about a half inch out of the corner of her mouth, like the Joker but smaller. She was beautiful at every stage of her healing. Unfortunately, that beauty doesn’t stop the teasing, weird expressions, blatant abrasive questions that were none of anyone’s business. All because she looked different after being attacked. It wasn’t even her fault, I blame the nasty little dog and his careless owner (not neutered) back to my point.

Obesity is one of the most popular reasons behind bullying and general asshattery at all ages. Skinny shaming is right up there, people need to choose dang it. Many feel an animosity towards their targets whom they’ve never actually met. It can come at any age there’s teasing, pranks, lower salaries, and countless more. Even doctors get in on it, ignoring clear symptoms of an illness, saying it’s most likely because you’re fat. Well until you get fed up, lose 80lbs, and while I felt better in many ways I still had all the symptoms & labs of the illness.

The proponents of body shaming, at least those that do so on purpose, cite their right to do so using health and other issues, usually yelling about BMI(a fallacy). They’ll treat others differently for no reason other than skin, scars, or nose size. This is none of their business. They don’t deserve the ability to comment on it or chastise you for their shoulds.

Going off of my own experiences: No one should feel embarrassed, shamed, or openly judged for no reason other than the assailant’s need to feel superior. No one should be shoved aside or rejected by potential dates & friends because you’re not the look they want to be associated with. From name calling & locker defacement to other stupidities found in public places, schools, and workplaces, it’s all ridiculous, and I do not use that word lightly.

That body of yours? It doesn’t have to do with you as a person unless you desire it to. That’s the hard part, is accepting that, and I’m still working on it. So for all of us: The parts that are more you? Your personality, talents, loves, hates, tastes, and experiences. Be the multidimensional being your real friends and family know you are, let your body enter the picture on your terms This is WAY easier said than done, I’m still working on it. I actually wore a bikini to a water park (gasp).

Related Links:

Scale-Free Journey: Nothing new so far, update tomorrow.

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