#MyBodyStory is a weekly series of reader submitted pieces about what it’s like to live in your body.
If you have a story to share, please email : Story@DoTheHotpants.com
Remember, every body has a story.
Please Note: The opinions expressed in #MyBodyStory articles are the writer’s own.
And now, without further ado,
Here is Kindra’s story.
I can distinctly remember the first time I was self-conscious about my body.
I was 16 and had just moved to a town with a class size 10 times bigger than where I had grown up my entire life. I managed to make it through volleyball tryouts and earn a spot on the JV Volleyball Team. When it came for uniforms, I was introduced to the horror known as “bloomers,” which are essentially nothing more than a high waisted panty instead of the knee length shorts I was used to. Instantly I panicked. I even thought about quitting, but I’d fought too hard to get on the team and I really loved to play. I panicked because ever since I was 12, I had a cellulite indent 6 inches under my right butt cheek. I was fit as hell; I’d been an athlete my whole life, playing sports year round, but still it persisted. I felt shame and true terror knowing I would be standing, bending over, and diving in these glorified panties for 3 months while all my classmates, teammates, enemies, crushes and family watched me. I remember being distinctly self-conscious when I was on the court. I was always hunched over, trying to crouch in a way that would stretch my skin. I was a pretty confident kid, but I remember distinctly how deeply shooken up I was, wearing those in public, and how it distracted me from the games.
Honestly I don’t even remember hearing why cellulite was bad, but I knew it was something “only fat people” had and it was certainly something to be ashamed of.
As I got older,and playing sports year round stopped being a part of my life, I gained the freshmen 15, but still felt strong and confident in my body, flaunting and often celebrating it. I was not afraid to dress “slutty” throughout college, and in fact I felt empowered to do so. Knowing that I had a kind of physical allure gave me distinct pleasure. I loved that I had finally gotten tits, and had some meat on my bones. And although I gained and lost 20-30 pounds on multiple different occasions during my twenties and thirties, I still managed to keep a fairly healthy outlook about myself. And there was that one time someone told me I looked like the “white Beyonce,” so that pretty much carried my esteem for at least a year and a half. Praise!
Still, through my self-love, cellulite was a constant source of anxiety. Spreading across my body as I aged and settled into a sedentary desk job, I would catch my reflection and say:
“Well shit, I have it on the backs of my legs but at least it’s not on my ass.”
Then a few years later when it crept to my ass I’d say:
“Well fuck at least it’s not on my arms.”
Then low and behold I would see a photo with a shadow of a dimple in my arm and my heart would sink.
I knew from every possible fiber of my being that this was natural. Shit I had had it since I was a teen when I was in the best shape of my life! But still I constantly obsessed about how to get rid of it, or at least hide it.
And to be honest, I still do.
Whether I’m at the beach or in the bedroom, I’m always consciously planning how to stand up or walk away from someone without them catching a full blown view of my most dimpled areas. I’m in a perpetual dance of shame.
Twinning has further been a challenge for my self-image.
Twinning is a drag term, and it means “to create the illusion of being a twin with your drag partner, often times for nightlife performances or appearances.” And I’ve been twinning for over 10 years. In all of my twinning partnerships, I’ve always been the older and “heavier set” twin, and often times I’d have to fight back the urge to compare myself to them. I mean for god sakes we’re standing next to each other on stage and for photos in the exact same outfit, so it’s hard not to compare myself! It’s especially hard when my twin would be battling their own demons, and while struggling to cinch my 24 inch corset my twin is saying how fat they feel while their 20 inch corset is almost closed.
It’s not easy.
“My arms look like sausages compared to hers.”
“Oh my god her butt looks so much rounder than mine in that photo.”
“Is that a double chin? I wish I had her jawline.”
A million demonic thoughts rip through my brain when I see photos of myself standing next to someone who looks exactly like a thinner, younger version of myself. Twinning can be a dangerous position to put yourself in if you aren’t feeling 100% about your body! And while most of the time I feel like expressing myself through this creative outlet is so positive and powerful, there are moments where I think “What am I doing?! I need an older fatter twin damn it!” But then I have a good laugh, because I know I am being ridiculous and that I am just as beautiful and precious as the woman standing next to me inside a giant heart-shaped cage.
Above everything else, my darkest of feelings of physical self-loathing have stemmed from relationships.
I never realized how much my sense of security stemmed from sex and romantic love until I went without it. I was always pursued by the opposite sex, (and sometimes the same sex), and had become so secure in the seductive nature of my physical presence that I took someone’s pursuit in me as fact. A few years into a relationship with an ex who struggled with low testosterone and depression, our sex life became virtually non existent. For the first time in my life I stopped feeling desired, and then shortly thereafter, I stopped feeling sexy. Although many nights I was dressed to the nines clad in latex, dancing on the hottest New York dancefloors, I felt deeply unattractive. For the next few years I tried to convince myself that it was ok, that I didn’t need that kind of energy or attention. But inside? It crushed me. When he left the relationship, I barely recognized who I was, and it took years of therapy, shamanic work, and the witchery of friends and family to overcome those feelings of insecurity and self-doubt.
Still, not feeling desired is a huge trigger for me.
The moment I feel like I’m not being pursued, I immediately start thinking I look old, or fat, or unattractive. Which the rational side of my brain knows is simply not true. But the panic and anxiety trigger is still there, tearing through me like fire. The feeling is crippling.
This is my greatest area of work : Knowing that my self-worth is not tied to anyone’s desire of me.
My body hasn’t always been my friend. It’s wrought with a spine full of chronic meningitis, a toe deformity which surgery after surgery won’t fix and still plagues me daily with pain. I have a back that’s always going out, and cellulite which I wish would go away. I wish my stomach was flatter, my arms thinner, my butt bigger, my core stronger, my body more bendy… and so on and so forth.
But I’m also older and wiser enough now, that every day I work on accepting my body while at the same time making it stronger and healthier. Still, that is not enough. I want to fall in love with my body. I want to celebrate it. To treasure it. To flaunt it without second thought. I want to be fucking obsessed with it, and not need a single person to tell me how sexy it is or how luscious I am, or how juicy or delicious my curves are.
I want to feel about my body the way I feel when I look at a lobster roll.
Like it’s too expensive, but oh so worth it, and I just want to DEVOUR it up. Yup. A 160 pound goddamn delicious lobster roll. And when I feel that way about my body, that will be the day I win.
Visit Kindra’s Website : KindraMeyer.com
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