Feminists With Disabilities Love Their Bodies

Today is Love Your Body Day, so a few of us are going to talk about why we love our bodies!

I’m meloukhia, and I love my body because, well, without a body, I wouldn’t have nearly as much fun, seeing as how we haven’t quite gotten to the state of being able to exist as floating brains just yet. Sometimes, my body and I fight. We disagree on things like when I should eat, how far I should walk, whether or not I am allowed to breathe, whether or not I should stumble into things, when I should fall down, how to get out of a car in a short skirt. But, you know? My body is pretty cool even if it does seem to have a mind of its own sometimes. It’s kind of like a cat, that way, sometimes it really pisses me off, but, you know, it always comes and lies on the bed at night, and that makes up for it. My body tells a story, my story; it has marks that I put there, that other people put there, and each one tells a history. That scar on my upper right arm is from fencing without a jacket. Those white marks in my left hand are from when someone put a fork through it. That tattoo behind my ear, it speaks to my love of language and history and the printed word. Sometimes, I stand in front of the mirror, mesmerized. This is my body! It’s all mine! And I can do what I want with it. That’s pretty terrific.

Chally here. There are so many ways in which I love my body. I love it because it is utterly mine and no one else’s; it is mine to love. I love this body that got me through endless rehearsals and pracs, my actor’s tool, I revel in it. I love these long toes, this mole on my earlobe, these pianist’s hands, my breasts, my back, because they have been my companions. I love my fabulous, gravity-defying hair, the inheritance of my foremothers, even if I otherwise don’t look much like them. This body and I have been friends on balance, no matter how much magazines, snide comments, cultural influence tried to make it otherwise. This body has been uncontrollable and put me through pain and fatigue, but I’ve learned to look after it, take care of it, keep in touch with it and respect the pair of us. I love this familiar face in the mirror. I love to see my body change, and I love that it reminds me of my mortality, so I must keep on. I love to nourish it, I love to keep it safe. Mostly, I love it because I have taught myself how valuable loving my body is, how revolutionary, how affirming.

Hi, I’m Kaninchen Zero, and I love my body. I love how tall I am, love my narrow feet and long toes, love my small breasts and sagging belly. I love the crow’s feet around my eyes and the discolorations on the backs of my hands. I love how each scar has a story behind it: This one on my knee is where my knee caught on a nail on a low-rent apartment’s cheap playground and almost tore off a piece the size of a penny. These here, on the knuckle, there were paint mixer things when I worked paint crew at university and they were all broken. Everyone who worked paint crew jacked it up at least once, pulled the shaft out the paint mixer and tried to jam it back in — zip! diced knuckles. The other ones on my knuckles are rabbit-inflicted. This on my leg was when some kid with too-jagged-for-regulation cleats stepped on me in a rugby match. The left hand? I shot myself. And I suppose I probably shouldn’t love my body what with the fibromyalgia beating me up and stealing my lunch money, but I do. Because it’s my body. A woman’s body (and a darned attractive one!). My wife’s dyke lover’s body. And it’s my canvas for tattoos. There are five so far but I’m nowhere near done yet.

I’m abby jean, and I love my body. I love that my body gives me more tangible and concrete ways to identify when I’m stressed or upset than the sometimes swirling and contradictory emotions in my mind. I love the way that using my body for yoga, or hiking, or most especially dancing, lets me get out of my head and my sometimes obsessive and circular negative thinking and forces me to focus on my sensory input. (A hot sweaty dance floor where the music is so loud you can physically feel it when lights are flashing and my hair is flying in my face and I’m just dancing, no room or space for thinking, is one of my primary self-care methods.)  I love my body because it experiences things directly and immediately instead of processing and filtering everything. I love my body and its immediate and undeniable needs (hunger, sleep, etc) as a contrast to my sometimes paralyzing indecision and uncertainty.  I love my body for the counterpoint it provides, for its ongoing insistence that I not get lost in the clouds of my brain. I love my body.

I’m Anna, and I love my body because it’s the part of me that keeps me in the here and now. My mental health condition causes me to often lose the sense of where I am, and what I’m doing – I get caught up in negative thinking and reminding myself of past mistakes to the point of self-destructiveness. My body reminds me that I am here, that I am in this place and this time, and not 10 years ago or even 2 months ago. I love my body because it reminds me of how far I’ve come from those negative times and places. My body is also pretty awesome in terms of way of carrying my brain around at the moment, and since my brain and I have to go, I’ll cut this off there. I love my body.

I’m amandaw. I love a few things about my body. It is squishy and fun to play with, for one. But my body has also taught me to respect myself. To love myself and care for myself. No healthy person has the pacing ability a chronically ill person has, and there is a reason for that. And that self-care, that pacing, that evaluation of whether something is good for you (eff whether it’s “objectively” good or not) is something to admire, no matter who you are or what body you live in. My body has given me that and for all the negative that I’ve gone through, I am grateful for that hard-won respect and self-knowledge.

I’m Annaham, and I love my body. We may get into rows from time to time, but it allows me to do many things that I love: eating, listening to music, drawing, swimming, sleeping, and hanging out. It allows me to experience certain tactile sensations that I especially treasure: the comforting touch of a loved one; my dog’s (admittedly stinky!) fur running through my fingers; my fingertips on the fretboard of my guitar; gripping a pen in my hand as I prepare to draw; preparing food using the best mixing utensils that evolution has given me; fresh grass under the soles of my feet when it’s warm enough outside to go barefoot. Oh, and my body also houses both my brain and my hands–used together, they allow me to write, even when getting the words out seems difficult.

11 thoughts on “Feminists With Disabilities Love Their Bodies

  1. I love the soft welcoming roundness of my body, the way my hips curve into the curve of my padded abdomen, the way my belly slopes in a gentle echo of my full breasts. I love the roundness of my shoulders, my face and my eyes. I have no sharp angles or brittle edges, just pleasant gentle roundness that speaks of beginning like a seed or of full sweetness like a ripe berry.

    The ways in which my body is sick have enabled me to transform my mind, and I love that too.
    .-= Coble´s last blog ..There’s Nashville and Then There’s “Naahhshville” =-.

  2. You know, I secretly (not so secretly now I guess) love the incredible clumsiness of my body. Sure, I sometimes wish I could’ve been a dancer or something like that (and falling sometimes hurts!), but I also enjoy the way it occasionally forces me to make a dramatic entrance or just to create an indelible impression.

  3. I’ve come to love my body. My soft moustache, my big, beaky nose, my dry, chapped hands, my hardy feet. Most of all, my brain in all its various extremes. Serotonin fog and anxiety and utter isolation. The quick fierce high leaps when I’m thinking through a philosophical problem, using both wordless intuition and linguistic subtlety. The way my brain feels like it’s button-mashing in Super Smash Bros. when I try to dance.

    I’ve learned how to read my body’s signals, give it the food and rest it needs, how far I can push it…but I had to love it first.

  4. I didn’t contribute to this post originally because I’ve felt a bit at war with my body this week – we just came back from holidays, I’m very low on spoons, and it’s hit my with a viral respiratory tract infection, so … I couldn’t quite come up with something in time. But I do love my body. Even while I’m battling this cold, I love that my immune system does its job, buzzing my temperature up to make life hard for the bugs, coughing them out, telling them “NO”. I love that my body grew a whole kid from scratch. I love my breasts which have worked hard in their lives, I love my soft stretch marks. I love that my body tells its story, in the scars that testify to my survival in some rough odds, in the aches and pains that remind me of my sporting days, in the freckles and wrinkles. I love the soft tickly hair in my armpits, I love the silken skin inside my elbows and at the top of my tummy. I love my hands, that can touch type my thoughts and cook my food and comfort my child and caress my partner. I love my fingernails, which are strong and smooth. I love the tiny birthmark behind my knee. I love my tattoo, which reminds me my ability to set and meet my goals. I love my sense of smell, with which to mix my fragrances for soapmaking, or give warning of an environment of allergens. I love my myopic eyes, which are a window to my emotions, a clear blue when I’m happy but a dull grey when I’m not.

  5. I love how hard I have been to kill, how my body has survived being beaten, ODs and alcohol poisoning. I love the slight cant to the left I have from having my inner ear broken by a mugger and still being able to drive home, with blood coming out of my ear. I love the way my body clings to life, how hard it can be pushed and still let me keep breathing. My body is cranky, but tough.

    I love my freckled nose, my barrel chest and the strength in my fingers. I love the translucency of my skin, and the way my tattoos look like they were drawn on paper. I love the long blade of my nose and the way my lips are always wry when I smile. I love the way my hair falls down in long waves. I love how my mind is stubborn and rational and how I have a hard time ignoring the things which bother me, the way I turn things over and over in my mind until I understand them. I love how deep my voice is, how it can cut through conversation and how people seem to listen to it.

    I love the ridiculous strength in my body, the strength of my stomach, the muscles of which have been severed three times by surgeons punishing the unmarried pregnant woman. I love the color of my eyes, a weird shade of washed out green, gold and golden brown. I love the scar under my lip where I bit through it after my hand got stuck in the tracks of an automatic door, the scars on my hands from the jobs I’ve worked through the years. I love my breasts that hang a little from breast feeding, the way they mound up when I press my arms together.

    I love how much I can love to be touched, how I have learned to fold into people and be loved.

    I love that I can love all this, instead of wanting myself to be perfect, instead of bemoaning all the ways I am not.

    I really liked reading that post.

  6. I didn’t contribute b/c I have been a little low on spoons…


    Well, I don’t love my body…but I am trying. I am. I talk about body acceptance w/ anyone that will listen because I want to love my body too.

    And this post…right here…is why I love being a part of this blog. This group of women together recognizing that we have “imperfect” bodies and loving them anyway, even when they seemingly turn on us, brings me closer to that goal of loving myself.

    Because I have come a long, long way towards loving my body.
    .-= OuyangDan´s last blog ..Iraq Veterans Asked to Seek Treatment =-.

  7. I love my pianist fingers, though I do not play.

    I love my John Waters moustache.

    I love the way the left side of my body feels:

    “I’m sorry I let people who don’t know you tell me you what you are. They don’t know how good it feels to twist your fingers as hard as I can with my right hand, or to let them dangle in mid-air. They cannot feel the music in the ka-THUNK! ka-THUNK! ka-THUNK! when we walk together. They cannot know the way you feel to me, the way you affirm your difference from my right side in ways I can’t explain.”

    There are parts of my body I don’t love. I often think: “If my breasts weren’t the way they are, a man wouldn’t have tried to touch them.” I’m working on this.

    I absolutely love this post, and all the responses.
    .-= Tera´s last blog ..New blog of awesomeness =-.

  8. my name is Wonder, and I love my body because it’s mine.

    I mean, there are other reasons, but I’ve learned in recent years how variable they really are. Looks, ability, sexiness, even feeling good, those things are all great if and when they are working for me, but I realized a while back I had to find a way to love my body when those things aren’t working for me, and that’s where I landed.

    My body is mine. It’s my home, be it ever so humble.

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