I am currently travelling and as an avid book lover I’ve found it hard to cart around books in my backpack that weighs me down. So I decided to download audio books. Once I was finishing up one, it came out that Amy Schumer was releasing her book Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo. From already loving Inside Amy I knew I’d need this, and couldn’t wait until I got home, so I purchased the audiobook narrated by Amy herself.
I listened to Amy Schumer within days. Yes I find her hilarious, but I was humbled at her Intro sample that openly conveyed her true thoughts and reasonings behind her book.
One of the best revelations I had when listening to her book, aside from the general confidence giver she relieves onto you, is her take on body shaming. I’ve read about the subject before again and again, and told myself time after time, to not shame myself. And even though it’s wrong and horrible it continued to happen. So I just lived with it. Secretly (but also very openly) hating my body. And admiring the stereotypical ‘good looking’ body. Dieting and gyming my life away and remaining the same. Honestly, I know my body better than anyone, and mine is not built for losing weight unless I just don’t eat.
But for some reason, by hearing her declare about how women cross their arms to cover their bellies, and how a runway is only for certain women, and plus size is a different size. It just kinda reopened those thoughts I already know well, and thought that’s all I’ve been doing whislt I’ve been away.
Travelling especially, it’s fucking hot. Well unless you’re travelling snowy mountains, but I’m not. I’m in south east Asia where the sun shines hard and works daily to burn you alive. Everyone around me (westerns anyway) are in shorts and slinky tops, and I have been horrendously judging myself. Wearing harram trousers so my thighs aren’t out, and letting the sweat stick my clothes to me on the daily, just so I don’t look horrible to other people and myself.
I’m also travelling with my boyfriend. I never – I repeat – never, look to him for love for myself. I have some self worth and it comes all from myself. But, of course, when he tells me how I’m pretty and look good it’s nice to hear. But i didn’t realise how i depended on clothing, hair styles and makeup back home to look good around him – for the most part – he has seen me at my worst.
And I thought the thoughts I hate society for. For making me think he will think other girls look better. That I’m actually falling out of my shorts and getting thigh rubs. And that when we did have a sun sitting session by a pool I got changed into my bikini in the bathroom and covered myself with a towel until we laid down because I didn’t want him to see how wobbly my legs and tummy were.
He’s about 6”2, slim, and has the metabolism speed of Usain Bolt cheetah hybrid.
But a lot of these thoughts and reasons why I really felt this way was because I thought it. I looked at myself that way. Even if I’m not tiny, I don’t need to be. So my legs wobble? What’s my problem? What’s the worlds problem?
I thought fuck that. And Amy just reaffirmed it for me. I always knew it, but listening to her and her passion just made me really want to focus on not doing it to myself anymore.
So I woke up this morning and felt good. All until I noticed it was going to be super hot, sun blazing. I tried on a dress I forgot I brought only for it to stop being so floating when it got to my legs and butt. It was tight and uncomfortable, so I found another I brought that I knew was too short so I’d wear it with my denim shorts. Now I remember my denim shorts being tight cos my butt is big. But my god they stuck to me, and they really accentuated my cellulite.
I got the hump immediately, thought I looked disgusting. Made my hair stay down because if anything was going to make me look nice at all it might be hair down. And then I just got mad at myself again. Within minutes I was ripping myself apart, worrying what other people (how self involved are you Sarah) and my boyfriend would think. And that I just hated looking at myself in the mirror.
But eventually, I remembered what Amy said and to just fill myself with confidence. And I thought fuck this. It’s hot outside, I’m wearing my new dress and my shorts.
and I thought if I can embrace it and let other women be ok with it, then I can be ok with it myself.
I shouldn’t be ashamed of myself. That’s not to say I wasn’t body conscious today. And that I found myself crossing my arms over my stomach, but the fact that I’m more aware to stop myself from doing it, the more I will embrace my body. And to tell myself there’s nothing wrong with me.
And all my lumps and bumps are fine so long as I am healthy.
*also, if you find yourself judging me because you think I’m being silly about my appearance. Don’t do that either. Another issue we all have is looking at other girls and thinking they aren’t ‘as bad’ as us. But none of us are bad. And it’s not even an excuse of “I’m allowed to feel/think how I do about my body”. Because none of us should be questioning our bodies.
And it’s funny really because on the way out of our hostel today after faffing around, my boyfriend who was none-the-wiser says to me “You look nice today. Nice new outfit, I like it”.
He didn’t even realise I was wearing shorts until I pointed it out when we got back because I had to peel myself out of them from the heat. I really believe a lot of it is in our heads, and although I don’t think I’m in the best shape I could be, I still should never think to myself that I am disgusting.
So I thank Amy for really helping remind me of that, and, for continuing to connect with a lot of people. Inside Amy highlights so many important issues for women, as well as making fun of double standards. And her book continued to inspire women, make me laugh and make me appreciate her as a person. Thanks for sharing big pieces of your heart Amy.
Side notes: the rest of the book is incredible too of course. I laughed, I cried, and it was just amazing. Keep doing what you do, because you’re a great example of still saying what needs to be said, despite the evil, unhappy people in the world.