Tattoos

I stopped in my local Panera this morning and one of the cashiers asked what my Sailor Moon tattoo said. I then noticed that she had a tattoo that said “o’hana” in Lilo & Stitch inspired style and a Deathly Hallows tattoo. Since I also have a Disney and Deathly Hallows tattoo we instantly bonded. All barriers came down. We could have instantly become friends.

And that is what I love about tattoos. They don’t have to have a special meaning behind them. You get them because you like them and you want them. They show a side of you that would otherwise be harder to show off. They show what you like. They show a deeper side of you. And I think that’s brave to be so open with who you are to wear that stuff permanently on your body where everyone can see; to go “I like this thing, I’m gonna have it sewn into my skin in ink where it’ll sit forever for everyone to see.”

People get tattoos for different reasons, but whatever the reason they show the world who you are, and I don’t mean in the way people in the past have perceived people with tattoos. We aren’t thugs or dangerous people. We’re people who like art and things so much we get it put onto our bodies for everyone to see and to remind us of who we are, why we are, who we’ve lost, what we like, what we believe in, etc.

I’ve never once regretted my tattoos. Even now that I’m in a job that doesn’t allow me to have visible tattoos and I am going to have to spend my summer wearing long sleeves I don’t regret getting them. Because off the clock I can show them off again and have opportunities to find like-minded people like that girl in Panera. Tattoos bring people together. I hope that one day they aren’t demonized by employers anymore. Until then, I’ll spend my other 128 hours of the week showing my tattoos off, getting more, meeting new people, and making friends just by saying, “ohmigosh I love your tattoo!”

It’s Not That Simple

I’ve been over 5 years since I started my anorexia recovery, and I’ve come a long way. Right now my appetite is gone because it’s been ridiculously hot, not because of my disorder.

But my recovery isn’t what I’m talking about today.

Yesterday, while the Actor and I were crushing it in the gym, there were a few others on benches next to us gossiping about a girl that I would regularly see in the gym when classes were on. She was very thin but also very strong. And mostly I just saw her in passing and went on with my workout without giving her a second thought. But these people had observed her heavily. And they decided that she was bulimic.

First of all, that’s none of their business. If they are not family or close personal friends they don’t need to care.

Second, they then felt the need to stress how much they wanted to feed her. The guy said he wanted to take her on a date just so he could shove food in her mouth, or pump her full of bacon grease.

I am so sick of the primary focus of eating disorder recovery being based around food for so many reasons.

1 – Not everyone who has an eating disorder is emaciated.

2 – The disorder will still be there once weight is restored.

Me for example, I was only 94 pounds (5’3) when I started my recovery. For my age at the time it was on the low end of the healthy weight range on the BMI scale, which I used to worship before I realized what bullshit it is. However, my tendencies and feelings toward food and myself got me diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. And thus began the re-feeding period, but no one, not even my doctors, seemed interested in the psychological aspect of my disorder. Once I hit 105 everyone seemed happy and things “went back to normal” because, hey, my weight was restored. But my disorder was still there, which made it easy to get back down to 99 ASAP.

Yes, getting weight back to a healthy range is necessary so that the person can not die, but no one seems to care about them after that point. They are marked as “cured” and everyone moves on while they are left to suffer.

Thoughts and feelings of worthlessness and failure clouded my mind daily when my weight was restored because I had done exactly what my disorder did not want me to do, and there was no professional help for me to deal with those feelings.

In America, insurance bases how much coverage an ED patient gets off of their weight rather than their disorder, meaning a lot of people get denied the care they need, and a lot more people die than have to.

It’s not as simple as pumping someone full of food. You don’t just get them to eat a sandwich and then they’re magically cured.

And can we stop talking about skinny people needing to eat sandwiches? It’s no one’s business what someone weighs or how they look.

Eating disorders are so much more than weight. Weight is only a symptom, and food is not the cure.

My Response to the “Dad Bod” Thing

If you haven’t read the article I’ve linked it here.

If you don’t want to read it, basically this girl wrote this article “Why Girls Love The Dad Bod” for her school’s newspaper outlining why women prefer the fluffier physique in men. If you don’t know what a dad bod is it is apparently a guy who can be described as softly round. They aren’t obese but they aren’t fit, either.

dad bod

I take issue with this whole thing. I don’t care if you’re attracted to the guy with washboard abs or the dad bod guy. You like who you like, that’s none of my business.

What I take issue with is that we are glamorizing a body that is achieved out of laziness while women have to be stick thin with big lips, big boobs, a big ass, but no waist, and god forbid she have any fat on her body other than in her breasts or butt. If a woman does not have a chiseled body (but not bulky because then she is man-ish and that is a whole other problem) then she is called fat and lazy and “doesn’t care enough” about her body. But now, if a man does that it’s not a problem at all. In fact, it’s apparently ideal.

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In movies and TV guys with dad bods get the super models, but if a larger girl in movies has a crush on the muscular man she’s probably there for comedic relief, ridiculed, and does not end up with him.

I also take issue with a few of her points. You can cuddle with anyone. Muscles aren’t rocks. You can eat delicious things whether you have a dad bod or not. Meal prepping is not bad because it means you’re taking care of your body, and I’ll take that over someone who doesn’t care about their health. You also cannot tell someone’s entire personality by their body type. It’s kinda the whole “don’t judge a book by its cover” thing we were all taught as kids. And the intimidation point, girls, you all need to know that you are fucking awesome and you deserve anyone and everyone. Don’t be intimidated. Guys are not better than us.

Not to mention that for the majority of people carrying around extra fat and drinking excessively is not healthy.

But my main issue is what praising the dad bod does to reinforce the ridiculous standards that are already placed on women and separate us from men in the eyes of the media. If men can have “dad bods” and be praised then women should be able to have whatever body they have and get the same treatment.