I was inspired to discuss the importance of respect for others today. I read a post about body shaming and how people, in an effort to be funny or mean, can really fuck with a stranger’s state of mind. So, I thought I’d share a story about how I started to love myself just the way I am.
When I first got involved in the kink community I could tolerate the idea that I was pretty. I agonized over everything I wore, how my hair looked, my make up, anything to make me not think about my body. I could acknowledge that people liked my big tits, and that my legs weren’t bad, and that if everything in between would just melt away I’d be happy. I equated my size with happiness. I won’t bore you with the details of being a chubby girl in a fit family, blah blah blah, you know how that goes. I jumped into the community with both feet and ended up at an event in Albuquerque for Newbies. It was amazing for me, because I didn’t have to feel like an idiot in front of people who knew way more than me, I was supposed to know nothing. I ended up playing at the end of the demos, and was horrified at the idea of stripping down to my panties. I did it anyway (that floaty feeling was bigger to me than my shame). I got nothing but positive receptions from people, one person even walked by and said I was beautiful! I thought maybe that person had a fetish for fat girls, so I didn’t take it to heart.
A month later I was convinced to be in a kinky fashion show. I sewed a school girl outfit, put a hand print on some white panties, got some knee socks and I was set. The problem wasn’t with my outfit, it was between my ears. I was horrified at the thought of looking like some sort of Violet Beauregarde in a plaid micro skirt. I had made very good friends with a photographer and his slave, and I contacted them. I tried to be casual, but really I was looking for any reassurance they could give me. I was ready to back out. So he told me to pack up my outfit, put on my make up and do my hair and come to his studio. I went, changed into my outfit and very timidly stood there while he pointed the camera at me, until he got me to loosen up enough to half way pose. He showed me some of the shots he took while he was adjusting the lighting and I gaped like a fish. I had no clue how he had made photos of me look so good, especially since they weren’t edited. He assured me that was nothing, and told me that the person I saw on the camera? That’s what everyone sees when they see me. They don’t see the lumpy tummy I know is under that shirt, they don’t see the cellulite on my inner thighs. They see a beautiful, sexy woman. So I posed my ass off. He took over a hundred photos of me easily. He edited them, not me, but the photos, softening the lighting a bit, editing the background, that sort of thing. I still wasn’t convinced, but I felt much more confident. I went to the fashion show, strutted my sassy ass on the run way and had a blast. Strangers were telling me I was sexy, gorgeous, hot, beautiful, and I thanked every single one of them. It was a first for me. I felt sexy. Then I got the photos back from the photographer and posted them, and the response floored me.
I realized at that moment that I am sexy, that sexy isn’t about size, it’s not about not having flaws, it’s about not letting your flaws own who you are, define how you feel or destroy your self worth. Then I realized that being me, in my skin, that isn’t a flaw. I am exactly who I am. I’ve learned to make no apologies for my body or my spirit. I’m not appealing to everyone and I don’t need to be, but I know I’m sexy, I feel sexy, and I let myself be sexy.
The reason I am sharing this is because while I’ve never had anyone comment negatively on my photos directly, I’ve known people to comment about my body in person. Not many people, one or two, and not people worth fretting over at that, but still, people have felt the need to impose on me what they view as acceptable in the world. That narrow-minded attitude would have damaged me a few years ago, and I can only be grateful that I’ve grown to love myself as I am. However, making rude remarks about a person’s body and photos is just inappropriate. Stop and think about the words you’re about to use, and how they may affect the person who found the courage to post a photograph of themself despite their insecurities. Consider that it’s not a photo that you’re commenting on, but a person’s body, a body that’s attached to their soul, their spirit. Is it really worth it to hurt someone just so you can feel pithy or witty? If the answer to that question is yes, then I pity you. I believe in building people up, offering construction and love. Am I an idealist? Most likely yes, I am. But that doesn’t change the fact that no person deserves ridicule from anyone for putting themselves out there; for being so courageous. No person deserves to be put down for being who they are and loving themselves.
I still have those photos up, I love them. From time to time I rotate them as my avatar. Those photos laid the groundwork for a beautiful relationship with myself, based on love and respect. No one has the right to try and take that from me.