No Excuses

Title (as given to the record by the creator):  No Excuses
Date(s) of creation:  Issue 1: October, 1994
Creator / author / publisher:  Selena, FaT GiRL
Physical description:  A page of text.  Black and white scan from a zine.
Reference #:  FG1-042-NoExcuses
Links:  [ PDF ]

No Excuses

By Selena

Today, I like my body. I went and bought a new bra today, and admired my body in the dressing-room mirror. It’s the same fleshy, pale, 36DD, 180 lb, five foot two body I had last week, when I cried for hours at home instead of going to a play party because I couldn’t love it, admire it, or imagine that anyone else could. That night, I didn’t even feel like I could live in it. 

I like big women. I think they’re sexy and powerful and they make my clit hard. Quite often, when I’m not in one of those self-hat­ing moods, I think my curvy body is sexy, too. But the thing is, even when I do, I admire it like I admire other women’s bodies. I don’t love it and feel comfortable in it like a mind should feel in its home. At some deep level, it doesn’t feel like it’s mine. 

I hit puberty at around ten or eleven years old; earlier than anyone else I knew or had heard of. I got called fat, thunder thighs, my friend’s older brother asked me my bra size ; all the usual banal childhood torture. I never wanted to be a boy, but I always wished I could pass for one. And still do sometimes, and not just because the dyke version of Barbie would look like a fourteen year old boy. If I were small and androgynous, the unrecon­structed fat-phobe in me fantasizes, I would be slight and mysterious and lithe, energetic yet waiflike, appealing in my boyishness. I would be a spitfire, bolder than my small body would suggest; I could take up as much mental and psychic space as I wanted and it would be charming instead of threatening because I used so little physical space. 

My saner aspects are now shouting ‘HEY! Who the fuck says you shouldn’t seem like a threat to some people; better threaten­ing than cute and powerless.’ And I do pas­sionately believe that, but at the same time, who doesn’t like to be liked? I spend a lot of energy trying to make myself smaller and rein­ing in my mouth and my personality, trying to make myself palatable enough to get through social situations unscathed and back into my cozy little hole, where I am as obnoxious and witty and loud and smart as I care to be. It’s not really surprising that it’s tempting to think of shrinking my body instead, even though I know that I shouldn’t have to do either. 

I was born and raised a feminist. I have the words and the concepts to think about this stuff, I know that I’m living in a world that is scared shitless by powerful women, that would like to see me held paralyzed and powerless by war with my own body. But I don’t feel power­ful a lot of the time, and I think that’s where much of my discomfort with my body lies now. I like my body but it doesn’t feel like it’s mine. I live most of my life drifting around the stratosphere feeling insubstantial, and coming to earth to find myself a woman of generous substance can be unnerving. I’m supposed to be one of those thin wraithlike creatures whose body makes no promises to remain in this world, not a strong, fat, and sturdy woman who might actually be called upon to have an impact on her surroundings. For me, feeling at home in my body is about coming to terms with my own strength, the fact of my own physical existence in this world. Nothing is expected of the powerless, which is one of the comforts of that state. Loving my body is a commitment to myself, the world, and to get­ting shit done, no excuses.