Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Day 7 of Feminist Joys: Selfies

I used to be pretty.

Now I’m fat.

I’m well aware of the insidious effect of conventional beauty standards, and I try not to be influenced by them. I don’t think appearances are particularly important. I find dress codes and all such arbitrary rules around clothing and appearances an imposition into privacy. 

But it doesn’t mean I don’t wish I look like I used to ten years ago. 

Much of this admittedly is because of how people who knew me earlier — especially relatives, who seem to think being related relieves them of the need for politeness, or perhaps they never learnt any — react when they see me now. Some of it is because I still feel a disconnect with my new body (not so new anymore).

Often though, I’m glad I’m fat and ugly. (I don’t think fat and pretty are mutually exclusive, not at all—but it feels that way for me sometimes.) I’m treated like a person: men rarely flirt and only rarely eye or grope. I faced much, much more of that when I was younger (admittedly, I was in different cities then but I’m not sure how much of a difference that makes). 

But I’ve avoided my pictures. I hate how I look in photos: I haven’t quite accepted yet that this IS how I look. 

But I have a job now and I earn enough to buy nice clothes, and that helps. I feel better now that I’m not ill anymore, and that shows. And now that I have to dress for work every day (and also there are large mirrors in my office bathrooms), I look in the mirror more often — earlier I could go several days without glancing at one.

I’ve started taking selfies now, partly inspired by Melissa McEwan’s comments on how selfies are feminist. I actually like how I look in some of them. I suppose the point is to share them, so here are a few photos (both selfies and others). I don’t think I care if you think I’m fat or pretty or both or neither, and that in itself is something to be proud of.

Yes, my favorite colors are black and pink, why do you ask?

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