Here’s how I feel lately:
I need to get my teeth whitened. My hair needs to be dyed. Why are my boobs so big? I need to be stronger. I need to be thinner. I think my head is weirdly misshapen. The flesh around my bra straps is grossing me out. Why are my freckles so uneven? Do I need a spray tan for this wedding? I wish I had a proper lip line. I wish there was a way to get your legs waxed without having to grow your leg hair long enough for waxing. I wish the people who design clothes and the people who design bras would just get the fuck together and figure something out. My feet hurt in my shoes.
I’m tired of every single part of me needing to be changed to be acceptable. To be likeable. To be normal. It’s exhausting.
Recently, I was in a bar. A friend’s girlfriend was telling a story about the time she went six months without shaving her legs. The guys fell around laughing. “Gross,” they yelled, miming throwing up. “Ew!”
“Well,” the girl said, shrugging. “I wasn’t getting laid anyway, so I figured: who cares?”
“Of course you weren’t getting laid,” one of the guys hollered (disclaimer: one of my favourite people in the whole world, and in every other way the most tip-top human I know). “Who’d fuck that?”
You know what we hear when you say stuff like that, fellas? You know what you’re saying when you judge hippies with hairy pits or complain about leg stubble?
You’re saying, “In your natural state, you gross me out”.
The way you were born is not only not good enough, it’s repulsive.
You need to be different than you are to be likeable. To be attractive. To be anything other than revolting?
Really? Is that what we’ve come to?
I may be overreacting slightly, but I feel like there’s no longer any piece of me I can leave alone. Everything has been scrubbed and scented and de-haired and dyed and plucked and coloured in. And all you get at the end of that is to feel like maybe you’ve done enough to blend in for another day. To not creep anyone out with your warm-blooded body that makes sweat and grows hair and digests food. It’s not making me pretty – it’s just bringing me up to not gross.