At what point do we cease being able to contain the loathing we aim at ourselves and start projecting it on to other people?
Yesterday I received a hateful message, anonymously, after someone saw a photo me wearing a corset. This message informed me that I am too heavy to wear a corset, or should at least invest in one that I am not spilling out of. I could write for days about the incorrect idea that anyone is ever too heavy for any style of clothing, and try to justify how well my corsets fit by photographing the back of it perfectly laced. However, I won’t because I don’t think that I need to justify myself.
I’d rather talk about why we reach a point where we feel the need to degrade and insult those around us, or even just strangers on the internet. My feeling is that we reach this point when we can no longer face what we see when we look in the mirror, and begin to viciously resent that anyone else may feel confident with their reflection. I think we become envious of that self confidence we perceive the other person to have, far more than we may envy the actual physical aesthetic of that person.
It would be hypocritical of me to write about this without admitting that I’m a very jealous person, prone to stripping other women down to the flaws I impose on them when I am in a patch of very low self worth. However I am all too conscious of myself doing this and have never sent someone hate mail in an effort to strip them of whatever it is I wished I had for myself.
Giving in to that self loathing and imposing your vile attitude and thought processes is utterly wrong; a deplorable act which has never provided anyone with a long term, positive outcome. This viciousness will not bring anyone down to your level, will not elevate you above anyone else and will only make you even uglier on the inside.
Like many larger women my posts on the internet attract very polarised opinions. I receive a great deal of respect, praise, and many kindly worded compliments which I am eternally grateful for. I also receive criticism and hatred for my size and shape. Part of me feels this may be due to people thinking I am vain, arrogant, and in need of taking down a peg or two. Maybe people believe I am trying to flaunt my body so people will not see the fat and be fooled into sexualising me like any other slimmer bodied woman, never seeing my true shape.
In reality I post photographs of myself in an effort to be part of a community of confident, beautiful people who do not have a ‘standardised’ body. To emulate and eventually become like so many people I have long admired. People who I perceive as comfortable in their flesh, regardless of socially constructed ‘flaws’, strong minded and true to themselves. People who put the effort in to challenge the self loathing our society attempts (and all too often succeeds) to cultivate inside every body which doesn’t conform to its ideal. Challenging hatred, refusing to accept a forced ‘ugly’ identity, is not vanity. Vanity is an excessive belief, an unjustified view of one’s own attractiveness.
It is not excessive and unjustified to believe that there is beauty at every size, in every shape, and every aesthetic.
Ugly resides within us all, and is fed by TV, cinema, and health fascism. It is forced on others through demeaning and hurtful comments and treatment. I realise this and expect myself never to displace my own poor view of myself and my looks onto someone else. By challenging the thought you can prevent the action.
Do not be hurt by the words of the few, those who want to take from you which they are too weak to cultivate within themselves. Pity them. Survive them. Build on what you have and endeavour to support others to build within themselves too.