I created two new categories, ‘dysmorphia’ and under the parent category of Identity I added ‘fat’. More on that one later. Since joining a social media network, I have come across zillions of images that have powerfully shifted my consciousness at times – either by the imagery alone, the text or a combination. I have a backlog of such portrayals that I decided to make a series of posts under the heading of ‘body dysmorphia’. I was struck while looking through some of the images again earlier this morning, that there will be others who anonymously read here who may find the same sort of shift in intelligence that I have experienced.
I chose to kick off the series using this image. Being the shallow creature that I am at times, when I first looked into this image I thought to myself “fuck – I’d kill to look as pretty as her”. And then it dawned on me. How many times do I look in a mirror and think “fuck I’m ugly”.
I have done a lot of damage to the skin on my face, mostly during my early teen years. I’ve clawed at my skin. I’ve cut my skin. I’ve scraped parts of the skin off my face. I’ve sliced up my nose more times than I can remember now and dug holes into blackheads and pimples that I now have many craters on my skins surface.
I’ve made many attempts to pretty myself up over the years as well. Somewhere during my twenty something years my body went into mass testosterone production resulting in body and facial hair more closely resembling that of a juvenile werewolf. I no longer shave my legs – am doing another long term stint at celibacy so there’s no point. I do shave my armpits regularly – I suffer hard out anxiety and chronically sweat. And I had been having my facial hair taken care of by someone on a pretty regular schedule of 4-6 weeks up until Dec of last year. I have since found a new person willing to take care of my facial hair for around the same low price the other person used to do it for. Unfortunately I have been carless for sometime now and my face is beginning to look like a barbed wired fence that Sheep have rubbed up against – I have tufts of hair growth that’s fiercely adamant it will stick out loud and proud! Ugh.
I’ve become distracted. Body dysmophia does start in my own head. I look at other women (more than I care to admit) and wish I too could do something to look a little similar.
I just had a brilliant idea to list the things that I dislike about my body. And then I thought to myself “wtf am I doing?”. So then I thought I would write a list of things I do like about my body. Here’s a combination of both lists:
Things I like about my body and/or appearance:
- my eyes sparkle when I smile
- I have oval shaped eyes
- I’m tall
- I like my feet
- I like my toes
- I like my neckline / throat
- I like the size of my hands
- my fingernail shape
- that my skin tans nicely
- my body has allowed me to lose weight
- my body allowed me to gain weight – protection
- my knees have withstood 204 kg
- my vital organs have withstood intolerable food abuse
Things I dislike about my body and/or appearance:
- I’ve always had ‘impotent’ boobs
- excess facial hair
- body hair – like Gorilla styles
- that overall I’m just not pretty / attractive
- I went gray at the age of 8 (head hair)
- the head hair is now falling out and thinning rapidly
- losing weight is causing floppy skin everywhere
Well that surprised me. I did think I’d have way more ugly things to say about my body than what I actually came up with. I’m going to restart affirmations in the mirror. For other reasons, I’ve avoided mirrors for some time. Hah! Talk about body dysmorphia – try being “identity dysmorphic”! – that is, I avoid mirrors for lengthy periods of time not only because of how I perceive myself – I often find myself feeling confused about the person looking back at me. The person I see in the mirror, although logically is a reflection of me, doesn’t actually look like the me I think I look like. And that scares me at times. I sometimes don’t recognise myself in mirrors.
I have not shared that about myself before. It is body dysmorphia at the end of the day in some generalised sense.