It started a few days ago, when a nude picture of Amy Schumer started circulating around the internet.
One of my initial thoughts upon seeing the picture was, “that is not flattering at all. Just, why?”
I immediately hated myself for thinking that, and tried to pretend, every time I saw the picture circulated again, that I didn’t think that the photo was unflattering, or that I’d be too embarrassed to let the world see my tummy rolls. But it sat in the back of my head.
I fought with myself over that picture.
And then, the other day, when I was at a pretty rigorous training, I spied a tall woman wearing a bright pair of leggings. I immediately checked out her bum, because that’s what I do, and was less-than-impressed. I sent a snarky comment about the leggings and the bum to the group chat, and put my phone away.
Thank God for good friends.
I thought the comment was sort of funny, and the others would share in my laugh, but instead, a friend of mine in the chat pointed out to me that not only was what I said unkind, but that the comment made her question what sort of things I might be saying about her and her body.
I was a little blown – of course, she had to understand the comment was meant to be funny, right?
But was it?
And 30 seconds into me trying to rationalize my wretched comment, I realized that she was completely correct, and that I’d made a mistake. A big, mean, nasty mistake.
The woman’s leggings were not affecting me in the least. They didn’t take away from my workout. Her body was a strong, healthy, functioning body. So why, oh why, for the love of all things holy, had I felt the need to snark?
Because I don’t always feel 100% about myself, and I was picking apart in her, the things I don’t love about myself.
I’m preoccupied with my stomach – it’s the first place my body will let me know that I’ve gained weight, and I feel like I’m the only woman in the world who gets the donut when she’s wearing a bikini and bends over. (I know, in theory I’m not, but stay with me). My butt has grown since I’ve started lifting heavier. Though I’m tall and thin, sort of that ecotmorphic shape, I have wild stretch marks on my thighs that have been there so long that I almost don’t notice them any more. My boobs are bigger than I’d like, and I take care to hide them – I was actually (very kindly) told by a photographer for the Y recently to put my boobs away when they’d escaped my top.
And THIS is why I pick other women apart. Because, in a really fucked-up way, I pick myself apart, and when other’s don’t abide by my rules of what’s flattering or what’s sexy, I can’t handle it.
And that’s not right.
I’ll conclude by saying I’m disturbed by my behavior, but that I know I can be better, I know I can change my thinking, and I plan on starting like yesterday. And in making a pure, concerted effort not to pick part the bodies of others, I will start to forget those little things about myself that are, in my mind, less-than-perfect.
Thanks for reading.