Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Surviving Self-consciousness

Today's entry isn't 20-something specific...it isn't even woman specific...but it is something I feel strong about. For my whole life I've struggled with body image - although who hasn't on some level?  Hair too curly, over bite, large nose, freckles, taller than everyone else or in my case over weight. 

I didn't have some kid in elementary school call me names or parents who put me on diets in junior high. I had my share of high school romances and had a large social network of friends through college. 

What I did have was a society unappreciative of diversity. I grew up with no one telling me I should be proud of and embrace my curves, clothing stores who gave me the only option to look like a granny in paisley muumuus, hearing how beautiful my sister is and how smart I am (and the good old "great personality" comment), a best friend who had more boyfriends than she could count while I was always "like a sister" to the boys I crushed on.

Somehow despite all of this...or perhaps because of it...I have found myself a fairly confident adult, Someone who friends ask for fashion advice, who has found a special someone who thinks my curves are sexy and even receives compliments from her "prettier" sister about how nice I look before going out for the evening.

Yet, there is still a small self-aware fat kid inside of me. She came out and cried this morning when a complete stranger shouted out their car window "fat cow!"

Why the Hell should I care what they think?

I've always believed "bullies" were such because of there own insecurities. and need to feel "superior". However, I never thought at 27 years old I'd still come across a "school-yard" bully...let alone be upset by one!

But there I stood on the side of the road waiting for my morning bus not only shocked but hurt by what I heard. I touched my hips and measured how wide they are, put my hands on my stomach and wondered if I could find myself a work out partner who could help motivate me to get rid of this belly fat....

I was letting that jerk get to me!

How dare he ruin my day before it even started!?
How dare I let him ruin the confidence I worked so hard to get!?

So instead of reverting back and hiding in my shell I decided to write this blog entry! 

I decided I was going to show the world you can be plus-sized and rock it! To follow in step with Queen Latifah, Mia Tyler and Nikki Blonsky and flaunt my curves. Support the businesses who are getting with the times and producing more hip (yes pun intended) and stylish clothing for the plus-sized markets. 

We're all unique and whatever area or body part isn't our favorite I think we need to learn to embrace. Learn that it's these small "imperfections" that make us wonderful. So here is the beginning of my embracing me - hips, breasts, stomach and super white legs! :)


  1. You define yourself. Don't let anyone else do it for you. If you accept their Label, you're just using that to define yourself. So in the words of a great man: Fuck 'em.

  2. absolutely love your outlook! you are beautiful!! i read a quote today actually that says "three things of life that are most valuable-love, self-confidence & friends." never let anyone's childish remarks take away from who you are. true beauty is what is on the inside, outer perfection is often a mirage. bless you Morgan!

  3. Fantastic blog entry. We rally against racism, but we blandly accept intolerance when it comes to both size and age. It's okay to make fun of the fat kid or the old lady. (OMG, what about a Fat Old Lady!!!)You are an amazing woman who will never need to ask, "Is this what 50-something is supposed to look like?"

  4. Reading your blog made me think about colonialism, particularly about othering practices, but even more poignantly about interpellation. Such synoptical connections resulted in the following atrocious impersonal academic rambling,

    Dislocation through interpellation:

    Foucault said, and I agree, that outside of Discourse nothing exists, but he never said that discourse was going to be sober nor coherent, and our subjectivity is no exemption. In fact, our intelligibility is always in the cusp of death because it is never truly achieved. As a result of this constant performance of self, we as subjects can be injured through interpellation. A phrase like, "COW!" coming from a skinny or skinnier person can drive us to "the self-hating place" faster then you can say chupacabra.

    In fact, being interpellated is one of the best ways to dislocate a subject because it highlights our failed performance as normative subjects, not only through citation, but also through a form of self-echolocation; you can only be interpellated if you identify with the cite. This is the most disturbing part to me, we can only acknowledge and feel the injury if we identify to the citation, meaning if inside of you there is an agreement of the identity that was imposed on you. Thus, it is in that disruption of location where we can truly discover our internalized self-image, or what Freud would like to call, the sub-conscious.

    My question to you is the following, why in a blog where you are re-appropriating beauty and embracing it is there no picture of you, your hips, your body?

    Yes, bullies, strangers, racist, and soo many more will continue on othering us, but it is only until we become foreigners to their language that they will stop hurting us, but for that to happen, we must go within and quiet our inner bully first.

  5. @Elizabeth - I wanted to (and am going to) post a picture of myself. But the one I want to use is on my home computer and I posted this at work.

    Picture of me coming soon.

  6. i really didn't understand the foucault stuff until the 2nd paragraph, then I understood what was being said!

    I would be shocked, too. my 1st reaction was "that's so MEAN!" I just don't get why people need to "other" people...to their face!

    I'm definitely not the best person in the world, and have said my fair share of things that aren't kind...but to do it so LOUDLY is what I think makes it rude.

    but i totally struggle with my body image, too. It seems like there's always weight to lose and working out to do...but I'm really lazy! lol! Unfortunately, my Drs say i need to exercise/ strength train to be strong enough for my job--i'm a server in a restaurant and have to carry heavy trays--because i was having back problems. Then another Dr. says I need to do cardio 30-45min/ day, 4 days/ week...to help with my migraines. YIKES! And then my MOM says, in response to having lost 15 lbs in 2 months from a medicine i take to prevent migraines, "you needed to lose that weight." I never thought I had a weight problem in the first place! But OF COURSE I'm not Hollywood's definition of beauty, and as you can see, I'm not into fitness either. I practiced tai chi for a while, but supposedly that doesn't count. Now I have to buy new clothes b/c I'm losing weight and the lovely ones I had don't fit right or fall off. It's one thing when you WANT to lose weight and you do, it's another if it comes without your own will or desire behind it. The thing I find the most challenging is quieting the voice that says that now I'm more attractive than before. Not letting it keep me from eating healthy. It's really hard to feel attractive and comfortable in my own skin, but I 100% agree with the statistic about love and social relationships making us the happiest in life! : )

  7. thanks for the bloggy post...I finally got a chance to read it! and thanks for sharing such an awful thing, and to take courage and power away from the experience. You are truly amazing! :)