There’s been a story going around tumblr where someone said that sometimes when they’re in public, they look at people as if they are in love with them. That is to say, they try to look at that person and envision what their lovers see.
This is something I started doing when I started learning about body positivity. To learn how to love my body, I had to teach myself to love everyone’s bodies. When a body made me uncomfortable, I asked myself why and I worked on normalizing that body for myself.
Eventually, I was able to sit in front of a mirror, look at my body, and find out how to respect it. When I’m with people who are attracted to me, I watch the way they touch me. I try to see what they see when they touch me, and then I try to see what I see when I touch myself.
You know the way you can be friends with someone for years and years and not notice how they have freckles on their shoulders? Or the special way their lips curve? Or how they have 3 different shades of the same color in their eyes? It’s not that you haven’t seen their freckles or their lips or their eyes. Of course you have! It’s just that you’ve gotten closer to them, a part of you loves them more, and it’s helping you to discover things about them that you hadn’t quite noticed before. You looked before, but now yousee.
Well, people are told that they should ignore fat people. They’re told that fat bodies are gross and embarrassing, and the best way to deal with that is to wish they didn’t exist. This is weird for fat people and people who happen to be friends with fat people. Because as fat people, we’re taught to disassociate ourselves from our bodies. We’re told not to claim our bodies as our own. And people who aren’t fat are told that becoming fat would be the worst thing that could ever happen to them. So, when they become friends with or fall in love with a fat person, their whole world is turned upside down. They’re trying to ignore what’s *bad* about you, which is unfair, because fatisn’tbad.
You can help them recognize your full beauty by claiming it. Don’t accept “you have such a pretty face.” Don’t. It’s not sarcastic to say “the rest of me is great too.” That’s not sarcasm, it’s truth. The rest of you is great too. Don’t let them ignore that. Don’t let them erase that. Look at yourself with a lovers eyes, and eventually, they’ll see what you see. And if they don’t, well, it’s their loss, not yours.