I’m Not Hiding My Lipedema Legs Anymore
Ya girl turned 39-years-old today, July 12th. Cancer season is live and in full effect. We out’chea! I’ve survived this administration, racism, revolution, fat-bias, and ableism during a pandemic. I’m using mental, emotional, and spiritual muscles I didn’t know I had! Every day that I survive is another chance for me to live out my purpose. I no longer have time to waste and on that note, I have an announcement: Henceforth, I will no longer be hiding my parts. My lipedema parts; that is.
Thank God for the fat black women that intentionally undermined socially acceptable body norms.
Not Like Other Fat Girls
I’ve always known that my fat body was very different from other fat bodies. It has different textures, rolls, and laxity in places that other fat bodies didn’t. I didn’t know that I had Lipedema or hEDS until 3 years ago. Most of my life I thought that I was “so fat” that I caused these conditions that make my body ‘uniquely fat’. I didn’t come up with this misunderstanding of my body on my own. Life taught me that despite my diet and exercise habits, my body was bad, my self-esteem was low, and my health was poor because of how I look. I fought a non-stop uphill battle with shame, inner-work, and embarrassment.
Thank God for Fat Black Women
I was bullied and teased most of my school-aged years. By the time I got to high school, I learned to cover my arms and legs in baggy clothes. I learned that it was better to be fat than to be “deformed” (shaped by a condition). I hid the shape of my legs as much as possible, even if it made my legs look bigger. Being teased for being fat gave me a community in other fat girls who often held my head up and taught me how to feel beautiful amongst a barrage of invasive concern. All that I have the power to say and do in regards to my body is because of the fat women who fought for the autonomy to love themselves despite the world. Thank God for the fat black women that intentionally undermined socially acceptable body norms.
You Were Wrong
You see it right? I can’t be the only one! There is a big gray elephant in the corner of the room. Its got a sign on its side that reads, “You were wrong.” There, I said it. Those of you who offered your unsolicited opinions in kindness or otherwise were wrong. Not only were you wrong because nobody gave you consent to insert yourself in the relationship that I have with my body, but you were also wrong because of science. I have Lipedema, a painful fat disorder that causes symmetrical accumulation of lipoma that can’t be burned off or dieted away. You were wrong about what I was eating, about how I exercised, and about my health. You and every medical professional I saw up until 3 years ago were all less informed than me about my body.
Mind Your Own Body’s Business
Now that I’ve gone through this, I feel confident in telling you to Mind Your Own Body’s Business. You’re severely wrong about other people’s health and wellness. Medical professionals are just now accepting that they’ve been wrong about fat, Lipedema, and obesity too. Lipedema disproves everything you thought about fat people. You don’t know who has it and who doesn’t. Your opinion about fat bodies and what they eat and how they exercise is more about you and your fears than fat people. When you dump your ‘concern’ on fat people, you’re really dumping your fears on us and we have to go about doing the inner work YOU should be doing to deal with YOUR fears.
I empathize with you. The media, pharmaceutical companies, diet-based corporations, and doctors are all echoing this noise that you should fear fat. Society has told you that your weight is directly related to your value. You’ve seen fat disabled people unable to work due to ableism and thought that their weight stopped them from getting a job instead of the systems that don’t accommodate their bodies. You are terrified of what being fat can do to you. Can I make a suggestion to YOU for once? I suggest that you shift your fight against fat to a fight for liberation for all bodies.
Not My Problem Anymore
Truth is, I’ve never worn a mini-skirt or a backless dress. I just purchased full-length mirrors for the first time in my life. I refuse to turn 40-years-old carrying everyone else’s insecurities about fat, ableism, and disability. Other people’s opinions about my body are not my business anymore. I refuse to allow someone else to construct boundaries for my experiences anymore. Public opinion is simply the publics’ problem. I’ve done the work of figuring out self-acceptance in opposition to ableism, racism, and fat-bias. Have you? If you were me, would you be able to love you? Do you love you now? Have you questioned the ways you use your power to disempower people and how afraid you are to be a victim of your own power? Public, it’s your turn to do the work. I’ve graduated. It’s your turn.
The Fashion Part of this Blog
I’ll wear what I want from now on. Arrest the cops that murdered Breonna Taylor.
Images by @visuals.by.bri