Today I sit in my hotel having a little rest before getting ready to go to Miss Pole Queen tonight. So a good time to sit and reflect on the recent past times.
I have been thinking a lot about body image lately. There are two reasons for this: 1) my body has changed quite a bit in the last 5 months due to a sudden lack of training
2) the reaction others have had to my body/presentation of myself in recent times.
I have been immensely proud over the last few years of what my body has been able to achieve, which I have to say is such a great position to be in because it takes the focus off fitting into a particular mould. Which I touched on in my last blog post. However, taking time off has left me with far less muscle-mass and loss of strength. When I look in the mirror sometimes I get a bit sad as I can visibly see my body is not as strong as it was. It's really important to note, that I don't really look that different in others eyes. But I can see most of the definition I had before has diminished. But I also know this will come back, and I am also in a fortunate position whereby I can re-train my body and prevent injuries happening in the future - in the past I have just kept training with injuries because I always had to work towards something. A forced hiatus has been a blessing in disguise, although I definitely feel totally behind the 8-ball when keeping up with what is happening out there in the pole world!
So this brings me to my next point. A forced hiatus has, yes, resulted in a less of a machine of a body to what I am use to. But that doesn't cause me to be ashamed.... Frustrated maybe, sad, YES, but not ashamed.
However, it seems MY body can cause others shame. As of late, on 2 occasions I have been told by perfect strangers to 'put some clothes on'. I have always loved fashion, and sometimes I wear some pretty outlandish outfits. Just ask my husband. I hate that I am about to tell you what I was wearing, but I do wish to illustrate the truly conservative nature of these comments. The first time this happened in the last while was when I wore a jumpsuit that fits billowy, a 3/4 sleeve and finishes at the leg just below the bum. The 2nd time was when I was wearing a unitard (bright lime green so very hard to miss me), with a cropped black jumper over top.
What's important here is people yelling s**t at me ain't gonna make me change my style or my choice of clothing. I actually don't give a f**k. But the reason these comments resonate with me is because I find it frustrating to live in a culture where people are so conservative and so worried about what others are doing. Where people put people down for no reason. Importantly for me, being the proud feminist I am, that WOMEN putting down other WOMEN. What is this culture. Why are people ashamed of MY body? It's most likely because they are ashamed of THEIRS which is is such a toxic feeling to have. It poisons the individual, those around them and thus, working it's ugly tentacles into the community. Sometimes, I forget that I am part of an unusually accepting, diverse, and loving community that is the POLE community. Moments like the aforementioned are clear reminders of my little bubble - for which I am so grateful.
Women are taught from a young age to be ashamed of one of the most incredible things you will ever possess - your body. I have not been in school for such a long time, nor am I a mother, so I do not know what is taught in schools at present. BUT if it is not already, young girls need to have discussions about body confidence, and how to view the body as the incredible machine it is and marvel at it's abilities. To achieve things at times not thought to be achievable. To self-heal. To learn. To adapt. Hopefully this view will take the focus off body image as we know it, and provide a healthier overview. In turn, I would hope girls compare themselves less to each other, and then begin to support each other and spread love and positivity. This world has many hateful things happening in it. We do not need to add to the worlds problems by judging others and simply being nasty.
So what's the moral of today's musings?
1) It can take years and many journeys to reach a point whereby body image is not as important as what your body can do
2) We need to start these teachings young to provide an environment where girls are not judging girls, but supporting instead
I know nothing I write here is new or original. I just like to put my thoughts into writing. I am also a bit of an idealist. But I'm ok with that. I'd rather believe we can make good in the world as opposed to just accepting the bad things as they are and believing things can never change.
Anyways that is all........
Peace, love & happiness.