Making peace with my butt
This blog was inspired by a tweet; a young woman I follow commented about how her co-workers call her “Big-Booty Judy.” She didn’t seem bothered by it at all. But, reading about it, I had such a powerful, visceral reaction of indignation on her behalf, I had to stop and think about it. If it didn’t upset her, why was it upsetting me so much?
It was a knee-jerk reaction to my days of body dysmorphia; the years of anorexia. The years of hating my body, of wanting to hide it and not wanting it acknowledged in any way. So bizarre that the exhibitionist you know and (hopefully) love used to be that girl, but I was.
Today’s workplaces are a lot more PC than mine were; sexual harassment charges are rampant and people exist in a climate of watching what they say and being apprehensive of giving any sort of compliment, lest it be misconstrued. Please! I was the recipient of many personal comments (and touches) in my early jobs; if I had initiated lawsuits back then, I’d be a freaking millionaire right now. But of course, I didn’t. I just dealt with it, because that’s what you did.
But I hated it. I especially hated any sort of attention to my butt. Because not only did I have all sorts of issues about my body, but I had all those strange feelings and desires around spanking that frightened me, because I thought I was a freak. So I figured the best thing was to, basically, make my butt go away. As well as any other curves on my body. Curves meant fat. Also, curves meant being a sexy woman, and I didn’t want any part of that.
When I was 19, working at a fast-food place (with a passel of horny boys), I was fully immersed in my eating disorders. I remember being light-headed from hunger a lot of the time I was working; even though I could have free food, I worked there over a year and never ate one meal. I was obsessed with my body and keeping it as shrunken as possible. One day, my supervisor (a ginormous perv) asked me, “Have you been exercising lately?” I didn’t exercise back then; I was too weak and exhausted all the time. So I replied, “No, why?” And he said, “Cause your butt’s finally getting some shape to it.”
That wasn’t exercise; that was two pounds I’d put on. Because, despite all my rigorous starvation, I’d sometimes break down, binge and eat everything in sight. That comment completely freaked me out.
I didn’t eat anything for three days.
When did I change? I’m not sure. Maybe in my 30s, when I finally got on meds for depression and they had the blessed side effect of calming my eating disorders. Maybe when I finally embraced my spanking side, and therefore began to embrace my backside as well. Whatever it is, I’m grateful. Because I finally started enjoying having a woman’s body. I liked having a butt. I liked having muscle and tone and flesh instead of protruding bones.
One of my regular commenters often refers to my “voluptuous bare bottom.” I can remember when a comment like that, meant as a compliment, would send me into a tailspin. Now, I recognize it for what it is.
As I often do, I can’t help but feel a stab of regret for my younger self, all the pain I went through, the terrible lack of self-acceptance, the crap I put my body and mind through. But I couldn’t help it. What’s past is past, and while I wish I could have embraced my body earlier in life, at least I was able to at all.
And how’s this for irony? Now, let’s face it, I’m at that age where women’s butts tend to go flat. I’ve definitely noticed a change in mine, a sort of compressing if you will, a little less shape. Years ago, I would have rejoiced this… and now, I’m doing squats and lunges and working like crazy to round the damn thing back out!!
But never fear. As long as y’all went to keep seeing it, I’ll keep showing it. 😉
To the women out there in the throes of eating disorders, please know there are other ways to live and feel. And to the women who embrace and accept their bodies, all types, especially the younger ones — on behalf of my broken younger self, I admire you more than I can say. ♥