It’s that time of year again, the time that I, & many other women dread, the time where we’ll receive judgemental looks & hear snidey whispers: summer time.
The easiest way to keep cool in the summer is to wear as little as is comfortable. It’s the time for bikinis & belly tops, for short shorts & flippy skirts. The time where we dress to feel cool over looking cool. It’s also prime fatshaming time.
Slogans screaming ‘Are you beach body ready?’, the super cute belly tops that aren’t made over a size 14 as designers don’t want an actual belly ruining their vision & swimwear telling us to love our curves whilst ‘controlling’ the more offensive ones.
Now I don’t have the greatest relationship with my body at the moment but it’s not because my wayward curves are giving me grief. I have beef with my body over the way it works.
I have numerous diagnoses that can cause me to curse my body. The hypermobility disorder that has left me with weird shaped knees and a constantly puffy ankle. The same disorder that causes crippling pain and weird skin tags that seem to appear from nowhere. I have fibromyalgia that makes my body feel heavier than even my inflated BMI could suggest. I’m so unable to regulate my temperature that the same body that shiverered under many layers in winter is now saturated with sweat for much of the time. My heavily follicular ovaries mean that my face nowadays is covered in peach fuzz that stops my contour being on fleek. My pain and fatigue make regular grooming ridiculously hard work so I’m prone to skin irritations, ingrowing toenails & other unpleasant stuff. The asthma I’ve had since childhood can make breathing on a summer day feel like a record breaking attempt as the warm air, pollution and pollen combine to irritate my lungs. My pale skin burns easily or turns into blotchy freckles so I need an annual mortgage extension to buy sun cream. My weakened ankles mean I can’t wear pretty heels whereas my weak arches grumble at flimsy sandals. I have a LOT of reasons to fall out with my body.
Oh, and I’m overweight. I’m about a size 18 or 20, I weigh as much as a rugby right back & my boobs are a cumbersome 36GG. I’m not always bothered by that though, in fact when I’m in the privacy of my own room, looking in the mirror I think I look quite nice & my husband seems to have no complaints; yet when it gets hotter & ‘body beautiful’ is plastered everywhere & I hear the whispers on the school run or the cruel jeer of a stranger it hurts me. The clothing designed to ‘control’ my body from somehow shaming me, hurts me. Then I wonder if it’s size is yet another thing to add to the list of ‘why I hate my body’?