I make a habit of checking out the cards posted each week at PostSecret. This week there was one that definitely made me choke up a bit; both from sadness in being able to relate to this person’s secret actions and also from anger that people still feel the need to hide themselves in so many ways, small and large, every day. Even when on vacation.
It just makes me want to take the world and be able to gently shake it by the shoulders and firmly say: “Stop hiding your body everyone. There is no shame in existing. Period. No, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of your body or their willingness to fuck it. Other people’s thoughts on your body have no bearing on your undeniable right to EXIST. In PUBLIC. AS YOU ARE. Even in a *gasp* Bathing Suit! Human beings are diverse. The idea that we should all strive for a narrow visual representation of what current society deems “acceptably normal”, to the point that we’re re-arranging our laundry to make it appear that the owner is differently sized, is ludicrous and incredibly damaging to all of us.”
The fact that so many of us likely still can relate to the sort of guilty embarrassment that makes this postcard submitter attempt to hide the size of their body by this tiny action with a swimsuit should be a huge red flag to us that there is a glaring lack of self-acceptance in this world.
This is likely not surprising when immersed in a world which delights in telling us all of the many various and sundry ways that our bodies do not measure up to ever-changing and ever narrowing standards of “acceptable”. Still, it never fails to make me heavy-hearted to see such examples of this culture of oppressive self-hatred messages borne out.
To counter-balance this sort of thing I do have the pleasure of seeing folks who are trying to get the message out there that there is no shame in being visible. Swimsuit Confidence, Rad Fatties Project, Perspective on Swimsuit Season, Every Body is a Bikini Body. You all rock!
I know there are there other heart-warming and/or powerful bloggers out there sharing their thoughts and/or image without shame that I’ve missed; please add them in comments!