Today is the first day of the NAAFA convention but there isn’t much that goes on before 6pm so the LA chapter created Body Fabulous Friday, a day of workshops and events to get things kicked off. The always brilliant Jeanette DePatie was doing an art project about inner/outer critics and she mentioned that her room is connected to the room with the supplies for happy hour. She suggested a cocktail before the project and Marilyn Wann joked that we should get our inner critic drunk.
It struck me as a great idea. I don’t know about your inner critic, but speaking for mine I can remember when she very seriously needed to have her horizons expanded. Really listening to my inner critic and what she was saying to me was a massively important part of my journey to loving my body.
At first it was hard work to separate that inner critic out but once I did and I really evaluated what she had to say and whether or not I thought it was true. I was honestly shocked to find out that everything that my inner critic said came from external sources and not from me at all. I realized that I had never truly disliked my body or been unhappy with it at all, I never believed that my body was unhealthy or anything less than awesome – those were things that people told me that I had taken bought into subconsciously. At that point I had to ask myself if I really wanted my self-concept to be based on the ideas of a prejudiced world? Did I really want to make those beliefs my own? Were they serving me?
I’ve noticed over time those who are bigoted against fat people keep changing their message – first they don’t want us to assault their eyes with our fatness, when someone explains the ancient art of looking at something else, then they started to say that it was for our own good because of “our health”, when we explained that our health is really our business, then it became that they don’t want to have to pay for our health care with their tax dollars. The fact that it’s completely baseless doesn’t seem to matter so much and I think that may be because, for many people, the point of all this is to feel good about themselves by making us feel bad. They work hard to engage our inner critic in this process because it means less work for them. But that’s just speculation.
The reality is that each of us is the only person who can decide how we feel about ourselves. There might be work to shift how we feel, we might have to get our inner critic drunk and have a talk and start to get on the same page, but I can say that deciding to like myself was the start of almost everything good in my life and it was totally worth the cost of a couple of martinis for my inner critic.
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I do HAES and SA activism, speaking and writing full time, and I don’t believe in putting corporate ads on my blog and making my readers a commodity. So if you find value in my work, want to support it, and you can afford it, you can become a member (you get extra stuff, discounts, and you’re always the first to know about things) or you can support my work with a one-time contribution. The regular e-mail blog subscription (available at the top right hand side of this page) is still completely free. If you’re curious about this policy, you might want to check out this post. Thanks for reading! ~Ragen