My body, Gender and Me

CW I’ll be chatting about my weight a fair chunk and body image issues

And people wonder why my photos are almost exclusively neck down

When I dress femme, I am very aware that my look is “that goth who’s off to have sex with your dad” and I’m very okay with that. I keep leaning toward ’50s style dresses, normally in black, or black and white, or even red if I’m feeling adventurous, but annoyingly with that era, they sorta require a tight waist which is something I don’t naturally have. It’s that or I dress as an Edgar Allan Hoe. Preppy goth wench with little regard for their ankles or the common decencies of society, as pictured here.

Which means, for the first time in my life, I have reached a disconnect between how I want to look and how I actually appear.

During lockdown I’ve realised more than ever how much my weight is linked to my noggin’. At the beginning of lockdown I was probably at the heaviest I’ve ever been, topping out at nearly 260lbs on my scales and after realising that I was both a) grossly obese and, b) going to die young, spent about 6 months losing 40lbs and suddenly I looked great (read – less fat) and I felt really good about what I’d done. And then I stopped losing weight. The dopamine hit of looking at the scales was replaced at first by confusion then annoyance and finally depression as the numbers started to climb back up again. With the unsettling rumblings of sadness came the desire and compulsion to eat again, starting a lovely downward spiral towards an inevitable undoing of all the hard work that I’d done.

Good news, I’ve noticed the issue and am working hard to rectify it. I’m not going to hit my target weight any time soon, but I’m at least confident in my ability to lose weight given what I have done over the past year or so. I do have a target weight in mind, I’m just not going to share it on the blog. Instead, I’d much rather wait for the compliments to roll in about how trim I am so I can casually mention how many pounds I have lost, as an act of unnerving confidence and smugness.

Until then, it could well just be that I don’t yet know how to dress for my shape and size in clothes that are socially feminine. It’s not a concept that I expected to grasp overnight given that it takes people assigned female at birth a good chunk of their life to discover and perfect, and even then our body shapes change pretty much non-stop. But knowing that doesn’t stop the near constant feeling of ‘ergh’ towards my body. Which isn’t great, y’know?

I think I look best with a tighter waist, both when I’m in boy mode or feeling femme. And when I’m wearing my ’50s midi or pencil dresses, I have turn to the dreaded (but highly effective) corset to get the job done. Which is fine, but it’s not particularly comfortable. Thing is , it’s the shape of my body I find most pleasing, looking back through old Facebook photos and videos it’s the one I regret losing the most. I look like an absolute twink of a lad, the thin outline of a 6 pack across my stomach and those hip line (those ones, you know the ones) just poking above the waist-line of grey skinny jeans that still sit in the bottom of my cupboard, taunting me with the knowledge I’ll never fit in them again.

Now, I know I will never look like that again, at least not without contracting some vast, sickly debilitating illness and I have no plans to do so. It’s an unrealistic goal to aim for, and if 4 years working in corporate offices have taught me anything it’s that if a goal isn’t SMART then it’s dumb (God, I hate myself). And as rational as I try to be, as rational as I like to think I am, that ‘ideal’ will always be there, in the back of my mind. Those nights when I would dance and dance for hours, without sweating or feeling too hot or feeling myself jiggle, they’re by all intents and purposes behind me and should I not just let them go? Probably.

Except I know it can be done. The question is, will I?

I bought tits recently. It’s quite a sudden gear change, I know, but there’s method behind the madness, hopefully. The power of tits cannot be understated, not only because when they arrived I literally wept with some weird gender affirmation magic, but also because they make my chest bigger (literally the point of them) and so they make my waist look smaller in comparison. Add the corset back into the equation and suddenly I have the general shape that I’ve been looking for for what might be years. I put on something slutty and goth, or something with a cute, ’50s aesthetic and I see someone in the mirror who looks right in their skin.

This raises yet another question, because that’s what this aimless ramble needs: is my general apathy towards my body a rebellion against how very manly it looks, whereas I seem to be desperate for it to be androgynous at least? Could be. Is this a gender crisis? I don’t really know, I’ve not really had one before, more sort of a gender predicament or a number of small gender setbacks. But wearing the clothes that I like, that fit, wearing a chest (38DD because I’m apparently a big girl)) it just looks right. and makes me happy.

Could it be that I don’t actually need to lose the weight, change my shape, but just need to wear my clothes better and as they were intended? Perhaps.

Does that knowledge change my weird relationship with my body and our love/hate relationship? Nope.

I’m only at the first few steps along my journey of gender and body positivity, but unlike most journeys I have no idea where this one will end and wasn’t given a map when I set off. I’m sort of blindly stumbling through an overgrown bridleway, hoping that through the next crop of thicket there will be a wooden side with a little yellow arrow guiding the way. I’m currently ankle deep in the mud of ‘you look like ew and feel ugly AF’, but I’m wading through. Fingers crossed it’s only a puddle and not a bog.

Anyway, it’s really hot. bye.

Published by Adam Unwin

Yeah, I write stuff occasionally, make things up on stage, and like saying words other people have written in a dramatic way.

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