We need to stop hiding!

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!

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8 thoughts on “We need to stop hiding!

  1. “No, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of your body or their willingness to fuck it” THIS. Thank you.

    I feel I am surrounded by the message that women should hide their bodies, or at least the parts of them that deviate from society’s narrow and misguided sense of “perfection.” This implies that fat women should hide in their entirety. I, for one, reject this. I recently saw an ad for a purse on TV (QVC) in which the seller gushed over the purse because- Look how much of your body it can hide You will look smaller!!

    (fyi- I also support people who choose to cover up parts or all of their bodies due to modesty or religion or just personal preference, when this is not to do with their size or “imperfections.”)

    • Emily: definitely agree that having a choice to be modest or select your own desired level of “covered up” is vastly different from feeling guilt-ed into covering a perceived body imperfection to hide “flaws” from the prying eyes of the world. And I really think that there’s a good reason you feel surrounded by these messages to hide: it’s because we are! Commercials, billboards, government initiatives, all are cramming messages of physical conformity down our throats in a non-stop manner that makes it more than difficult to escape.

  2. Oh, how I relate to this Woman’s secret. I do that too but with my not very glamorous underwear. Y’know how some days all you want to wear are the big nylon holdalls? Yeah, those.

    • bexkee I admit I had this same mentality when I transitioned from VS panties to Caique. I just kept thinking “But these look so BIG!” So used to cramming myself into the non-fitting VS versions I was completely disconnected from what they SHOULD look like when sized properly. Now if only we can get rid of the stigma of HAVING and WEARING said larger sizes…

  3. Long-time reader, first-time poster here – I love your blog!

    I have a co-worker who is a lovely young 24-year-old woman around size 18-20. Although she has a devoted boyfriend of several years and a supportive family and friends, because of the media BS that pervades everything she’s convinced that she’s “fat and ugly.” I’m saddened for her, especially because I’ve walked that road myself, and do what I can to try to help her become more self-accepting. She’s open to listening to me, and confides in me a great deal, so I hope I’m having an impact. It undoubtedly helps that I’m considerably older than she is (I’m 40) and in the 26-28 range, so she knows I know of what I speak.

    At any rate, she just bought one of those Intex Easy-Set pools so that she and her daughter can swim at home instead of having to trek to the lake a mile away. On Monday, we asked her how the pool was going. She said that her daughter loves it, but that she now doesn’t know if she wants to use it or not, “because I’ll look awful in a swimsuit. How many fat women have swimsuits? Nobody wants to see that!” I l said, “Well, this fat broad owns five, including a custom-made bikini with a skirted bottom in a cherry print, and I wear them all in my pool, neighbors be damned. Go get that suit and wear the hell out of it. If anybody doesn’t like it, tough snot.” She thought about it for a moment, said, “You’re right! I’m going to Walmart tonight to get one!” Victory for our side! *fist pump* Now, to see tomorrow if she followed through, or if I have to drag her out myself. 🙂

    Speaking of suits, April D, I have to thank you for your recommendation of the Lands’ End Tugless Tank suit. After I read that entry last year, I ordered one, and loved it so much I got another one as a backup.

    • Amy R I’m glad the recommendation worked out and have to totally grin at the awesomeness of encouraging someone to take that stand and say “Yes, I WILL wear a swimsuit and enjoy the water!” I hope she finds something nice at Walmart as they never seem to have a good selection near me!

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