*If anything I say in this post is phrased problematically or is problematic itself, please let me know so I can learn – I strive to be better and do better always when it comes to body politics and intersectional feminism
I devoured the book, finishing it in three sittings. I could have finished it in just one sitting, but I took notes as I read, jotting down my favorite quotes. I took my time because the book was something I needed to experience, not just read.
I find that it is very easy for those who are not mentally ill to write off triggers and ask those of us who are mentally ill to just “get over it.”
This isn’t entirely their fault – I mean, we could try to be happy for them that they have not and probably will never face mental illness. That’s awesome. I wouldn’t wish my depression, anxiety, or eating disorder on anyone.
After thinking about the fact I wear a full face of makeup all the time and wondering what impression that gives to other people (in particular, young girls) – I’ve been leaving the house with a clean face more often. Because that needs to be okay for me to do, so that I can show others that it is okay to do – while simultaneously showing them that it is okay to wear caked on makeup sometimes, too. It’s all okay to do.
And it’s not because I think I’m less of a feminist for wearing makeup – in fact, if anything, the realization that I support choice over all else makes me feel more feminist than ever before.
Let me start off by saying that I am a feminist and I love makeup. I wear makeup because I love it, I think it’s fun, and I like having different colors on my eyelids and lips every day. I don’t think I’m ugly, unattractive, or unworthy without it on, and I do not think that I’m better than anyone who doesn’t wear makeup. I don’t wear makeup because the patriarchy tells me to, but rather because I choose to. And I’m still a feminist because I’m choosing to wear it. Being feminine doesn’t mean I’m not a feminist.
But the other day, my partner’s 13 year old niece asked me to show her how to contour and fill in her eyebrows just after opening up to me about having low self esteem and insecurities. And I panicked. “You don’t need to do any of that” was my response. But I filled her eyebrows in with powder anyway, because that’s what she wanted me to do. She didn’t want to hear my self love mumbo jumbo. No one does at 13.
Ever since I began recovering from my eating disorder, I’ve had a very strange relationship with exercise. A large part of my eating disorder was over exercising and using it to compensate for eating (kind of as a form of purging?) – I mostly swam, ran, and did ab workouts.
In the four years I’ve spent in recovery, I’ve cycled between periods of exercising and not exercising. This is because when I do begin exercising again, I have a bad habit of beginning to indulge in disordered eating and other disordered habits – restricting, over exercising, mostly, but also criticizing my body more.