Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Age 29

When I was 8 I asked my Dad what size a grown-up woman should be. He told me that a woman should be no heavier than 9 stone, and no bigger than a (UK) size 12. I had great legs, he said, but would obviously need to watch my weight.

When I was 12 Dad told me he was sorry he'd given me such meat-slabs for hands.

When I was 15 he said that I wasn't feminine enough, and wanted to know if I was a lesbian (and did I know that all gay people had pedophile tendencies?).

I grew up to weigh 12 stone and wear a size 14/16, and I thought I was a monster. I refused to be in photos. I got cramps in my hands from trying to bend my thumbs under to make them look narrower. I threw myself into relationships with men I didn't fancy, and often didn't even like, in an effort not to be a lesbian. I got pregnant, and afterwards I hated my body even more. I comfort ate, drank too much and self-harmed.

Then I discovered this band and took a liking to the singer. She's been my inspiration.

I've lost weight and got fit. I'm still big but I find it sexy. I've stopped drinking. I've stopped over-eating. I've stopped hurting myself. I'm out. I'm androgynous and no longer see that as a bad thing. My hands were filmed as part of a documentary. I have such beautiful hands.

I watched my Dad with my half-sister a while back. I can count the number of times I've met her on one hand. She's this tiny, skinny wee soul, and he was calling her fat.

I wish for her her very own Amanda Palmer one day.