Wednesday, March 20, 2013

in which I briefly touch on my body issues

27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?

This is so awkward- I've literally started this over three times now. 

I have no idea how I feel about my body. 

Let me just say that this is not a thinly-veiled request for compliments. Don't get me wrong, I love it when people say nice things to me, but now is not one of those times. 

I just..I don't even know. I regard my physical appearance with a mixture of apprehension and confusion.

For one, I cannot remember what I look like.
The way my brain processes visual information simply does not allow that to happen.
I can describe myself on paper very easily- my waist to hip ratio will always be drastically different from my waist to bust ratio, my middle and pinky toes point into each other, there is a scar on my bottom lip, a birthmark on my right forearm, a freckle on my left cheekbone, less eyelashes on my right eyelid, etc, etc, etc. I know all that. I can visualize each of those statements as they actually appear on my body. However, I cannot string them together in a way that I can remember. And because of that, each time I look in the mirror I'm genuinely surprised by what I see. Ultimately this oddity proves more uncomfortable than anything else: I can't look at myself for any period of time without feeling like I'm having a staring contest with a stranger. It's just...uncomfortable. There is no other way to say it. Anyone who's ever witnessed my getting ready may recall that I cannot do so without cocking my head slightly to the side; I do this because I feel it gives me a more nonobjective, disembodied viewpoint that makes so much mirror bonding time possible.

This is what I look like today- you know, slightly cropped and from an angle.

Furthermore, this also applies to other people- I'm great with names, but I can't remember faces for the life of me. If I really like you, or if I'm attracted to you, I can generally commit one feature to memory for recognition purposes, but that's about it.

I'm also never sure if I'm "pretty" or not. This is in part because of my having been raised in several drastically different cultures: what some people consider the socially acceptable standard of beauty, many others do not. Additionally, I've come to learn that when someone says you're pretty, they are rarely stating a fact- in most cases they want something in return. That is no longer an exchange I care to engage in.

I've also noticed that most appearance compliments are based off of fluctuating features- a hair cut, a weight loss- and that also confuses me. Am I supposed to like myself better now? Or before? Do I want to lose more weight? Or grow more hair? Which parts of myself am I supposed to hate? Which parts am I supposed to like?

And then there's the inside of my body- a collection of organs and bones and blood all libel to fail at any given moment, topped off by a chemically imbalanced brain I've never trusted. I feel like a machine that can only function when properly balanced, and that balance is so hard to maintain that I'm falling apart more often than not. Even though that may be the case, I'm still amazed at what it can accomplish.

This is what my stomach looks like today- you know, slightly cropped and from an angle. Softness and scars included, I'm pretty pleased with what it does. 

So I guess what I'm saying is this: I have a body. It baffles and overwhelms me on a daily basis. So while I don't have a favourite part of it in particular, I'm glad it's there.


  1. Lissa-

    Even with everything you've been through, you're still one of the strongest people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. It's positively inspiring.

    I just realized I meant to tell you something along those lines forever and a day ago. Guess I got distracted.

    I love the blog! Keep it up!


  2. Thank you dearly, EmilyJanRachael.


I'm a sucker for kittens and fancy dresses.