Body Dysmorphic Disorder is not just for supposedly ‘normal’ sized people. In fact, quite a number of those who are considered overweight by society standards have some form of it – ranging from a minor case to an overwhelming case that leads most often to eating disorders.
I have it as well. Yes, me…an activist for body positivity and with it, body autonomy (why? because every person who lectures me about obesity, or who does concern trolling are making the assumption that THEY have the right to control my body).
Thankfully, I have a fairly mild version. I can look in a mirror and see myself as I am, overweight and getting older. And I can stare at that mirror and admit changes (larger or smaller) to my body. And I can accept and even love what I see in the mirror.
But, when I look at photographs of me, I see myself as anywhere from 2-4 times as large as I really am.
It’s not just the idea that the “camera puts on a few pounds.” It’s more than that. Oh, I understand the concept of perspective making a difference, as this photographer discusses (and shows with images). But it’s more than that. It’s seeing all of those same flaws that I see in the mirror, yet seeing them as more prominent and essentially worse than they are in real life. It’s trying to overcome that voice in my head that tells me I’m ugly, that I’m an embarrassment to humanity.
In essence, the camera is the voice of every person in the world who has told me that I – as a fat woman – am not good enough to be seen by normal people. It’s that voice that tells me I should try to hide my flaws, because they are exaggeratedly bad.
There are even naked photos of me out there on the Internet, because I’ve allowed men I’ve dated to take those photos. I have to remind myself to look at those photos with the eyes of those men, because if I don’t all I see is the fat, and not the ‘sexy’ or ‘seductive’ or any other positive adjective that they have used to describe me.
It’s that issue that makes me fight so hard for body positivity. No person should have to fight themselves just to feel acceptable from the rest of humanity. And it doesn’t matter if the person is skinny or fat – their body is a reflection the Divine and should be treated as such. Decent treatment should not only be limited to those whose bodies are considered the norm.