When it comes to self-perception of body image I suck, I am constantly berating myself for not having that enviable hourglass figure that society seems to covet and often look at my body as comparable to an eight year old boy’s. I am flat chested, slim and nothing like the image of a busty, curvaceous woman that is upheld as the feminine ideal, projected by media, institutions and even through peer pressure. In short I have no curves to speak of and looking at myself naked in the mirror often leaves me in floods of tears because I am afraid of being different. But one day everything changed and I realized something truly beautiful. There is no ideal body shape; short, tall, thin, curvy or plus size we are beautiful and should embrace ourselves just the way we are. So f**k the haters because you are beautiful and even if that bully tells you that you look like a boy, screw them, isn’t it beautiful to be considered as looking like the opposite sex. It was only the other day that a school age boy laughed at me and said how much I reminded him of a ‘boy’ and instead of being offended like he was expecting me to be I thanked him. I said ‘thank you for reminding me that I am beautiful in any gender persona I take on and thank you for allowing me to be more accepting and forgiving of my body shape.
Although I was always body positive when it came to friends, peers and family I never seemed to be able to apply the same logic to my own perception of self-image. It wasn’t until now that I began seeing what others saw in me. With the death of my friend, whose own enviable curves I had coveted I realized that life was too short to be hung up and constantly obsessing with how slim I was in comparison to the rest of the population; we have such a short life span that worrying about how others perceive us can be a mental disorder that can damage us psychologically, I should know. For years I would berate myself, listening to the voices in my head that told me to self-critique and pick apart all the things I hated, yes truly hated about myself. I hated that you could see my ribs and I hated the word skinny, I hated that just because I looked a certain way people thought I didn’t eat and I hated that the word anorexic would be thrown into conversation. But now? I couldn’t give a flying f**k, I told you how in ‘Its Ok To Talk About Sex’ that I had been on a self-discovery journey that had allowed me to become more comfortable with who I was and to be open and expressive about my sexual identity and it was true. Using toys was only half of the story; being confident enough to own and be liberated by my ‘sex’ narrative was the first step to being body positive and that is all thanks to Unbound.
Created by a group of New York City girls and one male, Unbound was borne out of the premise of making erotic subscription boxes to make sex better for women, without the need to emphasize ‘male desire’. Instead Unbound follows the ethos of promoting ‘girl power’ , believing that their boxes could enable us to be ‘body positive’ and embrace the sensuality of the female body. Because its true we are damn sexy and should not be made to feel like ‘harlots’ simply because the media portrays us as licentious if we are open about our ‘sexual prowess’. We hold power and society can be afraid of the damage we can havoc on their archaic image of the ‘ideal woman’. We are independent, sassy and body positive; I love that I have small breasts because it makes me look androgynous and gender-bending but at the same time sees curves as ‘healthy’ and a symbol of sensuality, but all body types are ‘sexy’ and capable of lusting over, so don’t see magazines ‘thinspiration’ as the ideal body type. The truth is we should all be body positive and learn to embrace the shape we are. Over time desire fades and looks fade so why not make the most of the time we have and accept that we were built differently for a reason? It would be pretty darn boring if we were all the same and Unbound’s philosophy is that you can enjoy erotica no matter what shape, size, age, race or sexuality you are. Sex is not a label nor is that supposed label defined by age. Instead sex and body positivity go hand in hand; when I felt uncomfortable in my body I saw sex as awkward, believing that the guy was seeing all my flaws mapped out before him and it scared me. When I became more accepting of my niggling flaws I realized that if a partner truly loved me for who I was he would embrace me, ribs and all because the first step to body positivity is confidence. I always lacked in self-confidence and never thought I was good enough, teased for being too slim and not looking ‘feminine’ enough but how times have changed. There have been men who have loved me for who I am, in fact these partners loved my small shape and equally I have friends whose partners covet curves. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but it should be all-encompassing and that is where Unbound come in. Unfiltered, raw and a champion of the ‘femme fatale’, Unbound believes that we are all ‘enchantresses’ in our own right and have the ability to ‘enchant’, ‘enthrall’ and hold power over unsuspecting men. Its a wickedly delicious charm us women have and part of that spell all stems from body confidence;if we are not confident and accepting of our own bodies then how the hell can we expect our partners to be body positive? Over time I would drive partners away with my constant complaints of self-doubt and my lack of confidence and awkwardness made me vulnerable. Gradually I have learnt to let go and accept compliments, even if I know they are only to make me feel better about myself because I know this is the first step to seeing a better me. Unbound taught me to be body positive because they showed me that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and it taught me that regardless of what men want, being confident and comfortable in your own body will bring you more happiness than being stuck in a cycle of self-hate. I was tired of constantly undermining myself and refusing to take compliments which damaged my self confidence; instead I am working on being body positive and celebrating my body no matter what people tell me I should look like. Do they know our bodies? Like f**k they do, only you know the curves and trails of your own body and whether you accept your body through sex or meditation it really does not matter as long as you learn to love the real you. Who Taught You To Be Body Positive?