Body Image Pop Art


The Chambers Dictionary defines an object as 1. a material thing that can be seen and touched. 2. a person or thing to which a specified action or feeling is directed.

Adjectives. A stoot quine (that’s Doric for big dame). Busty and sometimes hourglass. Fit for a fat lass, which I always thought sounded like the title for an Arctic Monkeys song. Teen years are a minefield enough without having to wade through a debris of callous words. I now realise that these comments came from people with a mindset warped by the Cult of Fat. It turns out my physicality wasn’t the issue; I just didn’t conform to society’s idea of thin. None of this helped by the fact that I developed tits, and big ones!

For those not in the Brazers Club, welcome to a world of derision and smutty comments. Combine this with a depressing lack of clothing options, most designed to fit the body of a prepubescent boy. The fact you can buy a UK size 2 or US size 00 is perverse. The fashion industry punishes the endowed; so when it comes to style, it’s either, porn star or frumpy. Sporty type? Finding a decent sports bra is like the quest for the Holy Grail. It is not uncommon for people to ask me “but what do you do with your boobs?” What the fuck do you think I do with them? Leave them at home? They are not two mischievous children!

Why Does Nobody Ever Comment On My Wits?

What the hell do my tits have to do with this discussion? Well, this is an article about body image, and you start with what you know. I couldn’t give a shit what ‘size’ you are, that’s none of my business. It’s a tiresome place dealing with men and women’s ignorant assumptions of a big busted lass. Body shaming, I could write a book. And for what? Something I have no control over, breast reduction surgery aside. It says something when my body ideal was comparing myself to someone with anorexia. So many depressive days where I squeezed myself into minimising bras or wore the equivalent of industrial scaffolding.

What Big Teeth You Have.

Nowadays, it seems women have lost sight of what a healthy, happy body looks like. January, year in year out, shelves packed out with ‘transformation’ DVD’s and books. Discover a new you. What’s wrong with the old one? I am certainly not saying one should not lose weight or exercise. However, be honest with what motivates your mindset.  Are your motivations internal or external? Is your need for rational physical change motivated by an internal desire (e.g. to boost confidence or to improve your health) or is it driven by an underlying issue or an unrealistic, obsessive goal; an external desire (e.g. maintaining low body fat or trying to achieve a specific look.)

Undoubtedly influenced by images of unattainable perfection fuelled by tabloid fodder.  So many women discussing their ‘journey’ with words like courage and bravery. Weight loss is NOT a courageous act; you are not living in Syria or fighting on the front line. Or facing the horrific prospect of genital mutilation or being trafficked for sex. Journey; the woman who travels alone from Northern Ireland to the UK for an abortion. Courage; the woman alone in the dock, staring down her rapist. Bravery; the woman who leaves a violent, abusive partner and starts a new life.

You Reap What You Sow.

An external mindset makes one selfish; it’s all about the ego. When you only think of yourself, you become insular. Instead of focusing on calories or carbs, perhaps consider the ethics of the food you eat. Such as the welfare of the animals and their living conditions. Is the meat you eat RSPCA approved, outdoor reared or grass-fed? Are your eggs free-range? Furthermore, is your fish sustainably caught? As much as budget allows buy organic and shop with local. Likewise, go and read What Nature Does For Britain by Tony Juniper. A brilliant book that explains how Nature nurtures and sustains us. It does the soul good to appreciate something other than ourselves.

And as for my tits, I discovered bralettes and they now hang happy, encased in soft cotton spandex. Except when I’m sporting it, and it’s back to the bra straps as wide as Clyde. Cause nobody got time for two black eyes.

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