Shoutout to the random middle-aged man who yelled – “EAT SOMETHING!!” At me from his car for helping to inspire this post.
It’s not the first time I’ve been harassed in broad daylight based on my body type. In fact, I’m kinda prone to these comments from strangers, friends and foes. I guess it comes with the territory of being a 6ft lanky lady.
Here are just a few fan favourite phrases:
- “Hey daddy long legs” (personal fave)
- “You’re a good dancer for a lanky person”
- “Do you play basketball/volleyball/netball”?”
- “Can you reach that for me”? By randoms at the supermarket, (happy to by the way).
- “Do you even eat/ are you anorexic?”
Let’s be clear, I’m not trying to throw a pity party here. I accept that I bear a close resemblance to a stick insect but that should be something to celebrate not hate. Because no matter who you are and what you look like, we all have bodily insecurities to different degrees. We’ve all been teased for ridiculous things and whether you’re considered big or thin you just can’t win.
The reality is, we are our own biggest bullies. But I truly believe that just as we have the power to bring ourselves down, we also have the power to lift ourselves up. It’s my own choice to stand tall instead of becoming small. My own personal responsibility to stick out with pride instead of trying to hide and to hype my body type for all it does right. For instance, my long ass limbs allow me to do many things; I have a birdseye view at gigs, I can reach high up/far away stuff, climb trees with ease looking like a straight up spider monkey, wade in deep water without getting very wet etc.
To support only one kind of beauty is to be somehow unobservant of nature. There cannot be one type of songbird, only one kind of pine tree, one kind of wolf…There cannot be one kind of breast, one kind of waist, one kind of skin – Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With Wolves.
It’s a matter of perspective you see and lucky for me I’ve been to enough nudist camps/beaches/festivities in my time to know that no two nipples are the same amongst many, many other things. Nudity makes it very plain to see that bodies greatly vary. They come in all forms yet we’re struggling to fit into one. Take me, I was a giraffe trying to be a meerkat because meerkats were all the rave but then I realized how boring the watering hole would be if we all looked the freaking same.
What I’m saying is, we cannot let the beauty which lies inside get pushed aside by our shape or size. If you don’t “got it” flaunt it anyway because confidence is stunning and it doesn’t fade with age. It’s time to be proud of every pound (or lack thereof), flaunt every single flab, ab and everything in between because people are going to judge no matter what. It’s become engrained in us to compare and criticise much to our demise. So the least you can do is show yourself some love and honour your body for all it does. It’s the vessel that carries you through life and should be nothing less than cherished as such.
Destroying a woman’s instinctive affiliation with her natural body cheats her of her confidence. So she is then basing her self-worth on how she looks not who she is. – Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With Wolves.