I posted a photo on Instagram last night, and woke up to see it had been removed due to it violating their Community Guidelines. Although it was the first time it’s happened to me, it’s something that happens frequently within the body positive community. There are a lot of things we are exposed to across social media that is offensive, inappropriate, and often sickening. But somebody being comfortable in their body, in a non-sexual manner, should not be considered one of them.
This was the photo:
And this was the caption that went with it:
“Society doesn’t get to dictate whether my body is beautiful or good enough. My body, my rules. And I think I’m damn beautiful and sexy as hell!”
My body, my rules. Some people may not be comfortable with posting a picture like this, but I am. I have all ‘rude parts’ covered, and it is not sexual or offensive in nature. Yet at least two people – the person who reported it, and the person who deemed it inappropriate – were unnerved by it. Offended by a female body. That tells you that we still have a long, long way to go in reversing the indoctrination of The Acceptable Female Form.
I’m almost certain that if the photo had been sexual in nature, no-one would have batted an eyelid, because we have created a society where the female body is only deemed appropriate when depicted as being overtly sexual and/or objectified. Yet when it’s shown in its natural state, people can’t cope. Take breastfeeding for example. Show breasts in their most natural state, doing the job they’re created for, and all hell breaks loose – instantly branded offensive, and should be hidden.
We are so, so uncomfortable with the female body. That’s why we, as women, stand there chastising ourselves at every given opportunity. Because we all believe that our natural female form is ugly, unacceptable, and something that should be out of sight. Men perpetuate it by constantly degrading us, women perpetuate it by shaming each other, and society perpetuates it by hiding ‘offensive’ bodies from sight.
So somebody openly showing happiness with their body? Pride? And a fat body at that? That concept is still unfathomable to most. To many, that kind of boldness is threatening and needs to be quashed. But the female body is not a commodity – it belongs to you, not society.
My body may not be considered acceptable; it’s not always pleasing to the eye. I wobble from top to bottom, and have cellulite, dimples, and stretchmarks a-plenty. My body is not going to please everyone, but it’s not meant to. It only has to please me, and it does. It’s far from perfect, but it’s mine, and I’m happy with it. So I will continue to share my body love and pride, and I encourage others to do the same.