I have a lot of notebooks saved from when I was younger. I have always written and documented my feelings, especially about my body and growing into a woman. This page was written by an 11 year old me, at a time when I was completely and utterly perplexed about my body and what was happening to it. This is when so much shit went down. I gained weight, my skin went haywire, I got glasses, boobs, and started my period. Reading my own words and reflecting on these things have been so healing. I just wanted to share.
Tonight has been another one of those nights where I am stuck on wishing I existed in a body that allowed me to do the things I really want to do.
Right when one thing starts working right, another thing starts up.
I love my body and yet am constantly at odds with it.
I wanted so badly to just wake up today, feeling ready to face the world. I thought maybe today would be a good day to go to the bike shop and get some new wheels. I want so badly to hop on my bike and ride and ride.
There are so many things standing in my way and I can’t defeat them all and it’s really disheartening.
That’s why I get so upset whenever someone questions my lifestyle, or suggests I get into an exercise routine, or get more active - get more “fit”.
Honestly, I really love being active. My body just will not always allow that to happen.
Migraines make it difficult to want to move or open my eyes. Depression makes it hard to leave my bed some days. Anxiety distorts my perception, making me overthink every aspect of wanting to leave my house sometimes, or even make a simple decision. Chronic hives crop up on my skin when they please, more often when I move or sweat or go out into the sun or do anything to agitate the surface of my body, making me burn and itch and not want to move because every inch of me is uncomfortable. Dermatitis makes me feel like a monster.
All of these things come in waves and crash straight through me and I wonder what it feels like to just be normal.
For me, going to the gym at the same time, same day of the week is unrealistic. Every time I’ve tried to go, even just weekly, I’d just become so discouraged with myself that I’d stop being active altogether.
So this is what I do.
I move when I can. When I want to and my body and mind will allow it. And I savor that movement, relishing in those moments when I feel at peace with my parts - when everything feels right and I can grasp onto some sense of normalcy.
But today has not been one of those days and tonight I have decided I shouldn’t feel guilty about that anymore, because why should I beat myself up over these things I can’t control?
And I know I’ve been talking about these things an awful lot lately, and I wanted to acknowledge that, but also say that I won’t apologize - because this is my favorite form of therapy and it always has been - pouring my heart out on the internet.
How are you living?
The body is a reflection of the self.
Inner character defines outer appearance.
Connection between mind and body.
Focus on how bodies function rather than how they look.
Reflect upon ourselves.
Realize effects of visual culture.
Body impressions - Walk up to a space and allow a surface to take an impression of your body. A way to make your mark and reflect upon the image created that is your body. Must stand a certain way to ensure uniformity. All collected images are turned into silhouettes and overlaid over one another to recognize diversity in body shape. Consider walking up to the interface, selecting gender for specification, instructions to stand at a certain spot, experience of body being scanned and the resulting image. Watch as your body is turned into a silhouette and added to either the male or female body image overlays. Final experience of viewing the diversity in body size allows user to reflect upon their own body in relation to others and embracing that diversity.
How can we reflect upon ourselves without comparison to others?
Consider installation that is more self-reflective, focusing on body function and the connection between mind and body in pursuit of attaining a positive frame of mind while interacting with the piece.
Focus on self-worth without relation to healthy bodies. Self worth is defined more by what we do and say than the way we look or conduct our lifestyles.
The effect of visual culture. A rapid-fast view of everything visual in society that promotes negative body image. Experience - the closer you are to the projection of images, the faster and larger they become. The farther away you are, the smaller and less significant they become. The more you disconnect yourself from visual culture, the less it effects you. The more you focus on it, get closer to it, the more it overwhelms and bombards you.