Body Image Meme

The other day I put together this body image meme. The idea came to me a few days ago. It was one of those things I needed to do now or I knew I wouldn't get it done. The first shoot we did was on my bed with my legs and torso peeking out of red sheets. I wanted to evoke the Marilyn Monroe Playboy shoot. I felt comfortable. I was a little too comfortable. I wasn't exposed.
The meme would suffer.

A friend who was taking the photos for me pointed out that I was setting myself up for criticism by not exposing my midsection and posing in the same way as the 110 pound version of me on the left. I re-applied my red lipstick and we did another shoot. I felt vulnerable and exposed in a way one wouldn't expect someone who has had thousands of naked pictures taken of her to feel. I hadn't posed nude in a couple years. There was a point when we were looking through the pics to determine if we'd gotten the shot that I was on the verge of breaking down and throwing it all away. I wasn't used to seeing my body look this way. My friend suggested that I work out for a couple months, tighten up and then we can re-do it, but me having a real person body was the whole point of it. Me working through my anorexia, self-hate and drug problems were the point. If I went and trained for two months the piece wouldn't have the same effect. I needed to look exactly as I do right now, even if it was hard for me to look at myself.

Looking at the final product I'm happy we did the re-shoot and that I stayed true to the purpose, as hard as it was for my own ego and vanity. Being comfortable with your body when you're in clothes and in private is very different from being ok with your body naked and exposed for all the world to see. It was a valuable exercise for me and I hope people who see the meme will think about it the next time they try to fat shame someone. You never know what a person's story is. For me to be able to sit down and eat a meal and enjoy it vs going on an IV drug binge for 2 weeks to burn it off is progress. For me it's a much happier and healthier place than where I was when I was stick thin. While I could definitely be in better shape, it's nice for my appearance to not be the center of my universe because so many other things are so much more important like art and sex and music and living.

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