I’m glad that muscular women are in now. Of course the look has the potential to make women who aren’t muscular feel unworthy. But I still think it’s better than the emaciated figure that made me feel like shit in the nineties. With my wide hips and Russian ankles, I’d never be wispy or waiflike. Now though, I dig my physique. And yes, I am easily influenced by what I see going on around me. It’s the way I was built. But I can’t shave my bones down. I mean, I’m sure there’s a doctor out there who might give it a go, but you won’t find me lining up for that procedure.
What I’m trying to say is that I feel way more empowered, way more badass building my body, eating big protein-packed meals, lifting heavy weights and looking in the mirror not for a lack of myself but for a surplus.
There are definite silver linings to the sex abuse scandals going on in the news. Exposure for one thing. Consequences. It’s a great time in history for female victims of sexual abuse. Why Trump remains immune I cannot fully grasp, but I hope one day his time will come.
I think about those stories a lot, since I’ve been objectified, abused and used as well. For me it started when I was four at the hands of my adolescent brother. I was also verbally and physically abused by my father. My childhood proved a perfect recipe for me to have low self-esteem and to equate my value with external acquisitions—prettiness, boyfriends, clothes, a hot body—whatever that meant for the time. It put me in the position of seeking out the very kind of males who would treat me like shit and perpetuate my enormous misunderstanding of my worth.
Harvey Weinstein and Larry Nassar both had close proximity to women who were outstanding at their craft—acting, gymnastics. Is it a coincidence actresses and gymnasts often battle bulimia and anorexia, that their bodies are commodities, that they are most prized at their smallest? Would Harvey and Larry hesitate to attack if their prey were larger, heavier, thicker?
I like to think so.
Whittled to its essence, predator and prey sketch a predictable shape—big on small. Strong on weak. A jagged lion eclipsing a sinewy gazelle.
Well, I want to be a lion too. I want to be able to fight back. But moreover, I want to appear big and strong, so no repugnant scumbag thinks for a second that I would be a worthwhile hunt. And maybe even more than that, I want to live my life to please me rather than shame me. To feed me rather than starve me. To build me rather than break me.
Here’s to building ourselves up rather than tearing ourselves down. If a new day is dawning, I want to be first on the beach to watch the sun rise.