Perspectives: body image
Sometimes I Forget

July 1, 2006 Print version       Other articles by this author

And so this Brave Soul....He comes with a fold.... Of flesh , of skin, of baggage.... A layer of stuff ...that he's still cleanin' up Yet he's anything BUT damaged.

I tend to forget about it although its ALWAYS been there. My first memory of it was during my teenage years. When I first recognized it, I hated it along with the rest of what I saw in the mirror staring back at me. After remaining for the last 16 years of my life, I'm inclined to think it may be there until the day I die.

The "it" I'm referring to is the layer of flesh, the fold, the skin that hangs around the lower part of my stomach. Now that I've been working out for years and have altered my eating habits considerably, its gotten much smaller, and is practically unrecognizable to anyone but me. So...sometimes I forget.

On days when I've managed to remember the TRUTH of my being, the beauty of my mind, body & spirit, I forget about it. On the other hand, on those days, and times when my past has managed to seep into my present, I remember. I remember how I've not loved myself, or my body for so long. I remember how I've felt inferior for so long. I remember the darkness. I remember it's voice whispering in my ear when I first met someone (dating wise) - telling me that I "don't, can't, won't ever measure up or be good enough". That there's no way anyone could want, or accept or be attracted to ME-because of 'it'. This is especially fascinating to me because in several instances, I have been loved, been reminded of how beautiful, how sexy (that is STILL hard for me to hear sometimes about ME btw), how special I am, 'it' included. At those times, I would always think to myself, "wow, maybe 'it' was wrong, maybe I am worthy, and good enough". Even with all that, I still tend to return back to a place of unworthiness. These feelings tend to multiply when I think of the 'Pandora's Box' that is "being in the [gay] life". Society in general is preoccupied and obsessed with being thin, so it's no surprise that 'in the life' this issue is...to say the least...MAGNIFIED.

"whas ur stats?/how much you weigh?/what size is ur waist?/ do you workout?/ how tall are you?/and the list goes on and on".

Although there are all kinds of people who are attracted to certain types, the pressure is always there to be fit, in shape, tight, with a flat stomach, and no signs of anything but perfection. That's a lot to deal with along with everything else, but it is also exactly why I'm unashamed to admit that I've fallen prey to those unrealistic 'expectations' of perfection. The truth of the matter is, body image just happens to be one of my sore spots, as evidenced, but again incase you DIDN'T know...that's one of the things BSC is about for me is working out my shit. Regardless of how much it stinks sometimes...

For me, the job of loving and accepting myself is an ongoing, ever changing process. There are times now when I can look at myself, and actually 'see' what everyone else sees when they look at me - or at least glimpses of it. Times when I see my smile, my eyes, my legs, and especially my lil bit of skin around my stomach and STILL can say..."Dayum...I LOVE ME". Conversely, I STILL have those days when I wonder if I'll ever really GET IT, KNOW IT, LIVE IT, and never turn back. Those days & thoughts from my adolescence seem to still have quite a hold on me at times. I guess old habits DO indeed die hard. The thing that I force myself to remember now is that it's not the destination, but the JOURNEY that is important. My journey, thank GOD, continues and is FAR FROM BEIN OVER. So even when I forget, and that voice tries to tell me something other than what I KNOW to be the truth, I just let it do what its gon' do.
Just cause it's been said, don't make it true.

Remember/Forget Remember/Forget Remember that NOTHING CAN EXIST WITHOUT IT'S OPPOSITE So next time I forget, like I know I'm prone to do.... I'll just look forward 2 remembering the plain & simple TRUTH.