Reblogged: My body is not heartbreaking: more fun with microaggressions


My body is not heartbreaking: more fun with microaggressions.

There are people–seemingly reasonable, decent people–who think the existence of bodies like mine is heartbreaking. Who think that my life must be a tragedy because I wear above a size 14.  Who refuse to believe that health comes in more than one size. And who refuse to understand that not everyone prioritizes health in the same ways, or at all.

My body is not heartbreaking.

Oh so much yes. Bodies are not tragedies. Bodies are where we live. They don’t need redemption. They’re not a moral lesson or a warning to Be Good Or Else You’ll Be Like That. We don’t have a social or ethical responsibility to look a certain way, be a certain shape, be at a certain level of health, have certain priorities. Aside from, y’know, basic hygiene and decency, our bodies are absolutely and utterly ours. 

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6 thoughts on “Reblogged: My body is not heartbreaking: more fun with microaggressions

  1. Good god. I assume sizes are different in Ireland, but I don’t want to know what such a person would say about my wearing size 20 for so many years! I am actually just about back down to a 14, not because of any real effort on my part, just been doing a lot more walking because baby demands it!

    Really, it’s sickening what people feel they can get away with saying about someone else’s body. I have a friend who is in 22s. She says that SHE needs to lose weight. Good for her, she knows what she wants and is willing to work for it. But anyone who says anything to her about her body gets cut off at the knees because it’s none of their damn business. Smart woman.

  2. You’re right to point out the problems of conflating ‘health’ with a certain body shape. But where I might disagree is with your comment that ‘our bodies are absolutely and utterly ours’. In not seeking to maintain a certain level of health throughout our lifetime, our bodies become the province of doctors and medical intervention when they inevitably break down. We do have an ethical responsibility to OURSELVES to maintain our own fitness and health, if only to postpone the point at which doctors and profit-oriented healthcare can begin lining their pockets at our expense.

    • Thanks for commenting! I see where you’re coming from, and I share your discomfort with profit-oriented healthcare and the like.

      I would have to disagree, though, that being ill means that our bodies become that province of doctors, and that there is somehow something unethical in allowing our bodies to break down. I’m uncomfortable with that idea.

      This feels ableist to me. I don’t think that people with chronic illnesses or disabilities have bodies that are any less their own, or that they somehow give up body sovereignty when they enter a doctor’s office or hospital. If that is the case, isn’t the issue there not with them, but with a medical system that doesn’t consider patients the final authority on their own bodies and medical decisions? The ethical onus here is on medicine, not patients.

      As for profit-oriented healthcare.. oh my, what a can of worms! To start with, not everyone on the internet lives in countries with profit-based medical models. Some lucky people get to live in countries with socialised medicine and decent public health services. As for people who are less fortunate- again, you don’t really get to pick what kind of medical system you live under. It’s not the responsibility of the individual not to get sick. It’s the responsibility of the state to get off its ass, do the decent thing, and provide health care to all.

      As for our ethical responsibilities to ourselves: isn’t that for each of us to decide? If our bodies and lives are our own, then we get to pick our priorities. Maybe you’re someone who hates exercise but works their ass off at whatever it is you do. Maybe you have shedloads of family and care responsibilities and are exhausted by them. Maybe you just plain really enjoy sitting on your ass and are okay with knowing that that isn’t the healthiest thing! We all have habits that aren’t necessarily healthy. Isn’t it up to us to do the cost-benefit analysis and decide for ourselves what is important?

  3. Weight problem is not caused by just bad eating habits, not exercising , ect. It can be a a genetic disorder. Many women have died trying to be a small size, when it’s a genetic disorder. It one’s responsibility to accept who we are and carry one’self with pride and dignity. Yes our bodies are ours and nobody else’s. Be happy!
    If you do the right things , and maintain good health, then what’s wrong with being a size 18 ?

  4. Pingback: Starting The Raw Food Diet | Whole Food Diets

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