body image


I was almost driven to anorexia in my teens. I dropped from about 130 lbs to about 110 in 6 months when I was 16 (5’8″, just for perspective), only to be rudely told by friends of my parents that I’m too thin. In my 20s, I was constantly unsatisfied with my body, fluctuating between 135 and 150 and always aiming to “get the weight off” At 30 I got a wakeup call, and realized that my body’s perfectly healthy and wonderful the way it is. Now I’m 33, 145 lbs, pretty active, and never once does it cross my mind that I should lose weight. However, when I mentioned to a fellow musician last week, a woman my age and a little bit thinner than me, that I was trying to eat healthy, she instantly started telling me how I needed to track all my calories and do sports every day and watch the carbs in order to lose weight. I was stunned. I told her, I don’t aim to lose weight. She looked at me blankly and said “really?” I’m ashsmed to even say it, but I’ve felt fat ever since she said that. I can’t shake it. I feel every ounce of fat on my body, which until then had felt sexy, now feels like an unwanted blanket. For some reason this comment has affected me deeply. There is something inherently wrong with a society that looks at a healthy body and thinks of it as a problem needing to be solved. (And by healthy body I don’t just mean mine, I mean others who are heavier than average but happy at their size too)


My big sister is my best friend. She gained some weight because of going on the pill. My dad told her she needed to lose weight because she was going to be undesirable. He offered her a bribe to lose weight per pound. In year 8 (I’m year nine now) I had the flu and barely ate anything for a week. My mum insisted that I needed to regain some weight in the interests of my health. My dad told me I needed to keep it off and loose some more.


I’ve been doing these exercises from a book about sex (yup, nearly 30 and need a sex ed textbook. Well done, education system.) and the first one is all about remembering your body’s history, like, recalling times that you were aware of your body, how you felt about it, how you physically developed etc. First off, I notice that there are very few happy memories related to my body. Alarming. Secondly, I realised that the first time I ever felt fat was in a ballet class when I was 6. It wasn’t anything that was said to me, I just noticed that all the other girls in their neon-pink leotards had flat stomachs and mine wasn’t. Being a girl fucking sucks, doesn’t it?


Hi, I’m twelfth years old and am new to the website and sort of nervous about using it really. I found all the things Laura Bates said in her Ted Talks really relatable and inspiring; I’m writing about some comments I can sometimes get of people, grown ups, about my appearance that have only just started bothering me. I wouldn’t say I’m really skinny but I’m fairly slim. Sometimes when I can squeeze past small gaps, adults say things like: “oh show off”, “I’d love to be as skinny as you” or “smallskinny thing.” Thing. I know it shouldn’t bother me but it seems that, in this society, if you mention someone as being fat, it’s an insult but if you comment of them being skinny, it’s a compliment. I realized this bothered me when I began deliberately eating surgry foods (even though it makes me feel sick and I hate the taste) so I can fatten up. I started looking at my reflection and thinking ‘you look like a skeleton’ or ‘you look unwell.’ Just to warn people that it is never okay to comment people’s bodies.