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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Making Body Friends out of Body Enemies

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Author Topic: Making Body Friends out of Body Enemies
Executive Director & Founder
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If you've had a body part that you really, really didn't like, maybe even felt you hated, or had a bad relationship with your whole body and turned either around, how?

In other words, what was your process? What's your love or acceptance story about a body part of your body now that you've come out, or are coming out, the other side?

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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I really don't like my thighs, why, simple reason is that, they are the biggest part of my body and it sticks out like a giant statue. I'm more and more accepting my thighs because I've lost some weight recently. I bought pants and they were snug and fit well, now they are falling off my hips and baggy in the thighs. I bought them 2 and half weeks ago.

I also don't like my back fat, it just doesn't look good having a glob of it hang and others can see it, but that has reduced from losing some weight.

My relationship with my body is different, I used to hate my face, freckles bothered me, but once I began to accept I can never get rid of them and grew to like them and others think it's cute [Eek!]

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What a great topic! I actually don't like my eyes at all - I had surgeries on them when I was little - and though they look fine, I'm always unhappy with them. Ironically, though, I absolutely love wearing eye liner, eye shadow, and mascara; so a love for those types of products has made me feel better about my overall appearance. It's still hard, but I'm working on just accepting them as being a part of me. And I've also been thinking that "me" or my identity is purely that - my soul, my feelings, and my heart - and that I shouldn't define myself by body parts or by my appearance; whether I like that part or not. I actually never talk about that part of my body, so the anonymity works well here. [Smile]

"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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In high school, I used to dislike most of my body and just felt like I was fat and unattractive. Since then, I've completely changed my view. I LOVE my body now. Part of that change came from leading a healthier lifestyle. Eating healthier and exercising gave me more energy and left my body feeling more functional.

Also, discovering my sexuality and understanding it's totally okay to masturbate changed my view of my body in big ways. I realized all the totally cool, amazing, messy, fantastic things my body could do and none of them had anything to do with my pant size. This discovery also lead me to reject a lot of the culturally-instilled discomfort and shame I felt about my sexual body parts (which definitely played a part in my body hate).

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I didn't really like my thighs, they're the only part of my body that I have ever really thought of as 'fat' and I didn't hate them, but was very uncomfortable, didn't want to wear shorts because of stretch marks on them, etc.
Then I went to a Physical Therapy place and during my first visit, the therapist measured my thighs and informed me that one of them had significantly less muscle than the other and that we need to fix that.
"Oh?" I thought. "That's muscle? Huh. I never knew that. So my chubby thighs are just the result of the zillion times I walked to and from the library, and up and down the stairs at my school."
So I think of them that way. It's not fat. It's muscle. And it's muscle I gained doing things I loved, so it's good enough for me.

I also wasn't really pleased when I began to get a bit of a chubby belly. Not even enough to consider fat, just enough to be a little rounder. But for most of my life I was actually slightly underweight, so when I began to fill out, I wasn't really happy. When one of my other forums had a board up about feeling embarrassed about our bodies, I mentioned that I feel ridiculous when I stand sideways and look in a back curves in and my rear looks like a badly-placed speed bump, and my belly sticks out just enough to say "hi, I'm here, I'm gonna make you look silly in tight shirts!".
One of the various people on that site pointed out that to her, the way I described myself didn't sound silly at all-in fact, it sounds downright sexy.
Well. Flattery works. Even reading that someone thinks I look good is a pretty big boost in convincing *me* to think that I look good.

So yeah...basically, seeing what I thought were imperfections through someone else's eyes and realizing what those thighs are the result of (I loved what I did that caused them, how would I hate them) and that my idea of perfection isn't necessarily someone else's idea.

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I have a very mild disability, which means I no longer tend to worry about the aesthetics of my body? One genetic tweak and I could be bedbound, extremely deformed, or have great difficulty doing every day things like getting up and down stairs. Considering how grateful I am that I can -do- things with my body, I'm not really too fussed how it looks. Just about how it works and feels - which is great.
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Playing a sport I love is really what did it for me. I've always had a pretty muscular build, which made me feel chubbier than I actually am. But in roller derby, strong thighs let me explode out of the pack. A big muscular butt gets in other players' business when they try to pass (and looks fantastic in booty shorts). Broad shoulders are battering rams. And weathered looking feet are just the result of making use of that functional anatomy.

I also have tattoos or plans for tattoos on each of those former enemy body parts. The thought to make art out of them didn't even occur to me until I stopped hating them. Now every day my shoulder reminds me that I made a better life for myself, my thigh reminds me that I am capable of finding my own path, and very soon, my toe will remind me of the safety and happiness I found at summer camp as a kid and again as an adult. And the bum is being reserved as good tat real estate for whatever is next.

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