Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I promise an update soon! I just returned from Joshua Tree for a Meditation retreat with my Sangha and Im not quite human again yet.

For now, I will leave you with a posting of something I wrote a long time ago...

The weight industry is an incredible enterprise isn't it? They're trying to sell us self worth and were so hungry from starving so long we eat it all up. Entrapment in an all encompassing paradigm, where an intellectual double standard is the normative fare, is what womanhood has turned in to. Entrapment in a society that wants to feed and stuff us with the image of starvation as satiety.

What are we to fill up on when double standard is the coach fare of our culture? Certainly not food for that would make us un-hungered for. A cultural analysis of our bodies is hardly necessary when our physical contextually is the primary factor in determining our personal worth, and yet somehow in the attempt to empower our hips and thighs, those of us who are still tormented by the jiggle that our very humanity might conjure are digested as traitors, unconsciously working against the slowly ticking clock, setting it into a counterproductive, counterclockwise spiral.

A convenient way to view this problematic social structure would be through Flocculation tinted lenses. Are we not creating our own neo victorian standards? Do we best feed our movement by continuing to feed it with propaganda, rejecting those who are imprinted by the very mold our non allied communities are trying to cookie cut us out with? Let the sustenance of our community feed those un sustained by themselves. After all, in the end, who would you rather sit down for dinner with? Driving home from a Rally seemed like an everyday act for me, but passing out at the wheel wasn't what I envisioned as empowered. I have always and will always label myself a feminist. It is at the core of my identity, wholly and truly. How is it then, that I ended up being so effected by society that I would sacrifice myself?

I set off on a journey that went against every value I hold. I transformed myself for others into something socially and culturally appropriate. I disabled my own beliefs, my own activism, my own power.

Not anymore.

I hereby agree to revel in my humanity and do the very things necessary to support its livelihood. I agree to love with my whole heart unapologetically. I agree to stand at the edge of the cliff and not only to sit amidst, but dance in the fire surrounded by friends. I agree to have no apologies. I agree to embody my own beliefs that I hold so steadfast for others and never sacrifice myself to fit what another might consider good or better or appropriate. I agree to speak my mind when my voice shakes, to cry when I'm hurt, to scream when I'm angry, to sing when speaking cannot express my joy, and to dance when words fail my truest expression.

I have worked myself into an oblivion attempting to prove my right to inhabit this world, when my mere existence should have sufficed. I have always been enough just as I am. I agree from this day forth to feel entitled to my life, my voice, my body and my food. I agree to exist as counter culture within the diet ravaged society that I am forced to contextual myself in. I agree to grapple with the tough questions. How is that I have reconciled an eating disorder with a strong feminist selfhood?

Why is it that the standard I hold for others falls away when I stand in front of the mirror? I agree to keep questioning what the difference is between personal and political activism. What does it mean to effect change from within, and is this in opposition to without? Is personal liberation as important as political liberation? I have come to believe it is.

I agree to work for radical change within something that will be the most prevalent in my life beyond laws and beyond labels. I can return to the very beginning and work from the source. I can be me. I promise to be me.

How is it that when the very gears of the political machine are falling apart, we fail to notice? How is it that activists everywhere have alcohol problems, drug problems, self injury problems, food problems and it is accepted? How are we okay with this? Why is it okay to kill yourself to feed the movement? What are we really fighting for if not our own lives?

Perhaps as activists, we need to start with ourselves. We need to go back to the drawing room and retrace our steps. What are our goals? What do we really want, and why? Can we structure a movement that supports healthy individuals? These are questions that take us back to the consciousness raising group. We have grown too far from the personal. We are people, we are human and no amount of protest, no amount of social movement, no amount of anything can change that. H0w can I tell bush he isn't fit to run the country, much less anything when I cant feed myself? and what right do i have, pretending to be someone that younger people can look up to when I'm sacrificing myself? Perhaps we need to take a step back and acknowledge that by engaging in these self defeating acts we are not only stopping our own gears, but we are allying with the other side, forgetting what the focus is, turning inward and contributing to our own ineffectiveness and erasure.

How is it that we have ended up in a society where the very act of consuming food, sustenance is a political act? If I buy a diet pepsi, it supposedly isn't political, even-though I am supporting bullfighting. If I buy a bag of chips, it breaks an unwritten social code. People form opinions about me. I form opinions about myself and all of a sudden i'm not thinking about how my gay best friends can't get married, or why I care about the current paradigm. Eating without judgment becomes a political act, a stance I am taking. It is noticed and I am choosing to be a part of this world without letting others judgment keep my presence at bay. I refuse to take it
on. I want chips damn it and I am no less of a woman because of it. This is feminism. I am here and I'm not leaving. I want to change the world, I want to dance naked. The personal is political, and the political is personal.

The time has come to put our food where our mouths are.

Who is with me?

- TwistedBarbie

Friday, June 13, 2008

Theres something I have been wanting to talk about lately, but broaching the subject feels like more of a personal issue than I tend to display on this blog.

Feminists, body love activists, please take your seats, you may need to for this one.
I want to talk about my boobs. Yes, MY boobs. Theyre mine, but they arent "real."
Thats right, I have breast implants. This is something I am having trouble reconciling with my sense of a strong feminist self, but let me present some context for little (or NOT) Burt and Ernie.
While I havent posted much of my story with regard to my own eating disorder and recovery on this blog, Suffice to say I have been both 400 lbs and anorexic and the body I was born into could not take the abuse it was put through.
30 hours of surgery later, I have a body with mere traces of the 20 year assault it survived and not the massive disfigurement my initial recovery saw.
From the begining of this process, I specifically said RECONSTRUCTIVE and not plastic surgery (as it IS reconstructive) to remind both others and myself that these surgeries werent merely someone wanting Lipo to fit into a dress. Through the initial surgery that removed skin by making incisions 360 degrees around my lower body and up the front, this held. Through the surgery that took the skin off my arms and upper back, this help, but when it came to my breasts, things became difficult.
Originally while consulting several surgeons I left my breasts off the list of things that felt highly problematic, but as time went on, I realized that while going through this process, I did want a body that I could take out and play with like any other young woman. Wearing DD's before surgery, I assumed a lift would take them from the limp and lowered place and move them to where they were anatomically meant to be, but when speaking with my surgeon, he said that it would take an implant. Very confused, I pondered until he explained that by that point, they were composed mostly of extra skin and not breast tissue, and if he were merely to remove that I would be left with almost an A cup, which after a life of DDs would feel like living in someone elses body (especially as someone in touch with their body and sexuality). I agreed and didnt think much of it at the time and skipped off on my merry way. However as the week of surgery approached, it dawned on me that I was going to have breast implants. I, your ferocious feminist, body love preaching self, was going to have silicone.... balls... in my chest. As the day drew nearer, I pondered not going through with it. I reminded myself over and over that this was reconstructive and even ran that by a few (close) people, taking my shirt off for them to look and convince me. The idea of having to CHOOSE something as .... innate.... as a breast size seemed against everything I have believed in and preached, but my surgeon assured me that I did not have to choose a breast size, he was merely going to fill in where there was missing tissue.

Now that I have been getting used to these babies, I really like them. I dont like them because of their size (they are the same size as they were before surgery).
I dont like them because I can go braless (although, I admit I do kind of like to).
I like them because I finally feel like I am living in a body that is congruent with the healthy woman I am. SO no, they arent REAL, but they ARE really mine, much more than my breasts were before surgery.

So it has been said. I am a feminist with breast implants. And you know what? I like them.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I cant say yet, but big things may be coming for this blog (I know, I know, why do I always have to bring SIZE into it).
Okay, EXCITING things may be happening for this blog.

One thing that is important to me, however, is to bring more of myself into it in the process and not let it merely serve as an activisty face for an ideal world with regard to food and weight. With that, I would love any questions or suggestions from readers and fellow bloggers.

I havent posted in here in quite a while as I somehow managed to disenfranchise myself from the entire encapsulated commentary.

But Im here and I aint moving, so lets get this party started.

Im dancing in my own revolution now