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Sunday, 12 October 2014

Body Parts (minor rant alert)

Something that confuses me a bit - okay, a LOT, is why women seem hell-bent on letting other people decide things about their bodies for them. As females, it's become completely acceptable to have Fat Days, Bad Hair Days, Dull Skin Days, and every single one of those can result in depression, irritability, and a feeling of worthlessness. We panic over wrinkles. We freak out over grey hair. An extra five pounds can lead to sobbing under the duvet. (Yes, there may be a male out there that does this, but I haven't met one yet.)

Then you get the random bitchiness of strangers. There's a certain person out there who thinks they are completely justified in commenting on your appearance, food, and hair colour. These are people who've drunk the kool-aid of advertising to the point that looking like a normal human is beyond their comprehension. Or maybe they're just sad, angry little balls of misery that need to share that with the world. Hell, some of them have made a career out of appearing on t.v. to make nasty remarks to an audience of millions.
There are websites dedicated to body shaming, and nobody seems to find the idea behind them repulsive. Let's put it this way: unless you're not quite human, you are just as flawed as the people you are giggling over. You have no damn room to point.

Some of them go into politics, and this is where it gets scary. These people think that women shouldn't decide what happens to their bodies. They'd rather let you die than make that choice. Or end up in jail. They don't have that right, because slavery has been illegal for centuries, and deciding you own somebody else's body is pretty much the definition of slavery.

See, here's the thing. My body. I live in it, not anyone else. I dress it the way I choose. I decorate it the way I want, because I have to live in it. If I feel a bit overweight, I can choose to go on diet. Or not. Nobody has the right to tell me otherwise. If I am underweight, the same goes. My. Body.

I change my hair colour a lot, because (a) I can, and (b) I like it. Sometimes I don't like the colour, and it gets changed fast. But it's my choice.

I have tattoos. I like my tattoos. If you have a problem with them, don't look at the bloody things. They have nothing to do with my sexual inclinations, promiscuity or whether I like swinging from chandeliers on a Saturday night. I have yet to see someone walk up to a large, muscular tattooed man and accuse him of having a tramp stamp.

As for sex… It's really nobody else's business who you sleep with, as long as it's consenting and there are no kids or small furry animals involved. Or large furry animals. No animals, okay? It's something that's as fundamental to the human experience as eating and sleeping, and nobody has the right to tell me whether or not I should be doing it. I don't particularly care whether various religious figures approve or not, because they have no business in my bed.

Advertising tells me I should do everything in my power to stop ageing. You know what stops you ageing? Death. That's pretty much it. I don't really want to shuffle off this mortal coil just yet, and when I do I sure as hell have no intention of clutching a tube of anti-wrinkle cream in one clawed hand.

I have a number of scars, and the ones on my leg are pretty big. Society and advertising tells me I should cover them up. Never wear dresses or shorts, camouflage them so other people don't have to see them and flinch. Well, that's not going to happen. My scars show the world I survived something pretty damn painful, and if you have an issue with that, don't look at them.

Then you get "age-appropriate" clothes. You know what's age-appropriate? Not wearing diapers past the potty-training stage. If you like it, wear it. This life is too short to listen to some idiot tell you that you shouldn't enjoy it.

My body. I choose what I do with it. I choose whether or not to have kids, to carry a pregnancy to term or not, to paint it, pierce it, decorate it in any way I want. It does not belong to society, advertising, my family or my friends. It never belonged to past or future lovers, because I'm not a piece of meat. It doesn't belong to any government, either. It doesn't belong to hackers, or advertising, or society as a whole, and I am unbelievably tired of all of these entities trying to tell me it does.

Do me favour, will you? If you are female, the next time someone tries to make a bitchy comment on your appearance, tell them it's none of their business.  If you're male and you witness it, tell the commentator it's none of their business.
And if you are the commentator, think about why you are doing this. Why you find women so horrifying (even if you are one) that you have to make them feel just a little bit worse, a little bit smaller. And stop drinking the bloody kool-aid.