Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Team Flappy Arm

Thank you, Jezebel, for Women Are Still Wondering If It’s OK to Show Arm Flab in the Summer by Tracy Moore.

A photo posted by Sheila Hageman (@sheilamhageman) on

I wish I could say I read her essay and shook my head and said to myself, Oh no! Don’t women know they don’t need to worry about these thing anymore!

But instead I read with that distinctive sensation of knowing I could have written those same words.

In fact, when I read:
And this, I think, it was bugs me more about advice to women to control their bodies and image for others pleasure or approval. The way women are burdened not only with looking good, with eradicating all signs of wear and tear, but also the burden of not making the world unpleasant for others by looking bad. Who suffers when a jiggly arm waves goodbye? Who suffers at the sight of a varicose vein or an untoned thigh? Who really suffers?
I actually raised my arm and waved to see if I could feel that flabby swing.

I quickly lowered my arm as I imagined a stupid social media beauty challenge beginning—a video of yourself waving that proves your arm doesn’t flap: #ArmNoFlappy. I would be #TeamFlappyArm.

And I also know that feeling, though I hate to admit it, of wanting to protect others from me. I know that feeling of not wanting to gross out others by my “unfeminine” qualities.

Like—I better cover up my butt and belly with a towel as soon as I step out of the pool, so as to not make anyone feel uncomfortable with my less than model-perfect abs and ass.

How sad for me that I cannot completely break free of the need to either look a certain way or at least hide myself if I don’t measure up to the standard.

It’s so ingrained. No need for anyone else to body shame me.

I body shame myself.

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