Ever since I started this blog, I have wanted this to be a space that breaks down barriers. I want it to be a space where taboo is something that is discussed. With that comes anxiety. Anxiety that people will take one look and walk away, close the tab, exit my space. This anxiety, however, will diminish. I used to have anxiety about talking about my mental illness, or my sexuality. Those paths ever-changing and growing. Now, I post almost without fear about those topics, with the occasional filter, of course. I want to talk about another aspect of my life. A belief of mine that not everyone holds, but I hope you will listen.
The other night, I was at Starbucks with my writing group that meets every week. As I was working on my blog, the number of tabs I had open started to bug me (procrastination??). So, I scrolled through to see which ones were no longer relevant. One tab caught my eye as it was an ESPN tab, and I never look at that website, so I clicked on it. Lo and behold, it was the link to the U.S. National Hockey team’s Body Issue that my friend had sent me. They were naked as you can now see if you clicked that link. As soon as I clicked on it in that Starbucks, I was mortified. Now, when my friend originally sent this to me, it was within the comfort of my own home. I felt no sense of shame or guilt for opening it and looking through it. But, as soon as I was in that public place, with my laptop open out to the rest of the room, I was ashamed and embarrassed.
Where does that come from? From an early age we are taught that our bodies should be hidden, some more than others. That there are certain parts of our body that are private, and policed. There’s a stark inequality in these policies as well. You can hear it in the way we talk to children. Expectations affect our treatment of different presenting bodies, and we need to start acknowledging that.
These parameters are especially prevalent for feminine-presenting bodies. We aren’t allowed to take our shirts off (even though I am MELTING in this heat!). I say allowed in the context of our social norms, not legality. In regards to whether or not we will get harassed for this as a form of punishment or lack of allowance on this matter. Or, we are “allowed”, but we have to have some form of covering over our breasts. Mainly, our nipples. Somehow we don’t break laws when we walk around with tape over our nipples. Does this make sense to other people?? Because I can’t seem to make heads nor tails of this.
To truly make this point please see this Instagram account that posts nipples from various types of bodies to prove that a nipple is a nipple no matter what the rest of the body looks like.
Today, I was reading other’s blogposts from the #DoTheDamnThing group in a Starbucks (is the reason I feel this way because of Starbucks?? No, even though that does seem to be a common denominator here). One of the bloggers, a wonderful human who owns a business and blogs about kink, blogged about social consciousness in their business. This is an entirely respectable topic, but for some reason I caught myself scrolling a bit faster past the bolded BDSM and kink paragraphs, aware that anyone glancing over could see that I was reading that. Now beyond not caring what others think, there’s more to combat if we want to see actual change in our society.
Ultimately, these recent experiences have fueled this post. I believe there should be no shame in talking about these topics. I believe we have a long way to go before society and people stop policing other’s bodies. There’s so much more that I can say on this topic, and I will say, someday. For now, I hope you’ve liked my introductory post into the world of another taboo topic.
Friendly reminder: If you clicked on the links provided above and don’t want to find yourself in the scenarios that I talked about, go ahead and save them for later or if you’ve consumed the content, close the tabs! That said, if you haven’t clicked on the links above, please do in the comfort of whatever space you would like!