Possible womxn 3/12 Gabby – labeled too thin her whole life
This is Gabby. Gabby has been labeled too thin her entire life and when I say entire life, I mean entire life. Within two weeks after her session she had with me for this project she posted one of her photos with the following words…
‘Today before lunch a customer brought us pizzas, the guys in my shop offered me some and I politely declined. “No thank you, I brought a huuuge lunch!” Which I did. But that’s beside the point.Immediately 4-5 adult males launched in to this bizarre yelling charade of comments like “No pizza for her! She will gain an ounce! Can’t let that happen! Atkins won’t allow it! Gotta stick to my tiny people diet!” I admittedly didn’t hear the rest, because I walked straight out the back door of the shop to compose myself. What kind of world do we live in that things like this are appropriate? @kendrakboudoir and I talked a lot about this during my impossible boudoir shoot. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to how comfortable people are with commenting on other people’s body size. But I do appreciate @kendrakboudoir drive to get women to love and celebrate themselves more through her project. It sure is tough sometimes!”
Can you believe it? I can. We live in a disgusting world where womxn are sex symbols are men are supposed to be Jason Moma. There is too much pressure to look a certain way for ALL body types. This is the exact reason why I started this project in the first place. We need to get to a point in time where the only comments we remark to others in person and to ourselves is nothing but kind and positive. More of, “Girl look at you! You look good!” Or “Hey boy hey, you look fire today.” But when it comes to womxn’s bodies, we need to seriously shut this shit down.
We need to completely remove hurtful words and derogatory phrases from our vocabulary. Here are just a few things that Gabby has heard about her body her entire life… “You’re not 100 lbs soaking wet, you’re built like a 12 year old boy, why don’t you go eat something, you’re so tiny, look at that little saltine.” Those were and are the comments Gabby has gotten on her body growing up and even to this day. Like that comment that stemmed from not wanting a slice of fucking pizza above.
“I’ve been in my underwear in front of plenty of womxn, but usually I’m the one telling them what to do.” -Gabby
I asked Gabby what part of her body she was most insecure about. She told her her upper body mostly and then referred to herself as Lanky Kong.
“I’m not muscular but I’m not petite, I just feel oblong and awkward. My arms are too long and my shoulders are goofy and contorted. I always wear long sleeves and sweatshirts to kind of hide.” -Gabby
“I was literally the only one!”-Gabby
When Gabby told me about coming out in high school and not knowing of any other lesbians at the time.
“I can consume 4 or 5 Big Mac’s and a plate of brownies!” “It doesn’t matter what I eat, I haven’t been able to put on weight my entire life.” -Gabby
“Comments about my body are always derogatory in the sense that I am so small.” -Gabby
It didn’t matter what Gabby did when she was younger, she could eat, eat, eat and still not gain a pound.
We talked about how people feel it’s okay to call someone small. People never go up to someone who is larger and outright call them fat. I mean some might because we live in a world full of assholes. But when Gabby hears, “you’re so tiny” all she want’s to say is “you’re so fucking rude.” But she can’t because she’s a decent human being who knows how to take the high road. Little do these people know that while they’re calling her so skinny and small, Gabby is trying to consume 6,000 calories just before breakfast to maintain her weight.
“People think they are paying compliments when they say, “you’re so small.” Thats not a compliment.” “Hey nice legs,” or “you have a good butt” or “sweet tats!” Thats a compliment. You’re so tiny is not a compliment.” -Gabby
Working in a male dominated industry most her life, Gabby has had her fair share of unsolicited comments happen towards her. Working on ship decks and tour boats for the past 5 years, she says she is constantly surrounded by an older male generation who she says they feel they have the right to comment about her body working in a labor intense field.
“I remember distinctly deck-handing for a boat, leaning over taking off a line and the captain, three stories above me, leaned down and was like “do you want some help with that line little lady?” -Gabby
“They think that they are “complimenting” me on the fact that I am small and I might need their help.” -Gabby
The male ego, strikes again.
The comment Gabby has gotten the most in her life is, “you’re built like a 12 year old boy.” I asked her what it’s like for her to constantly hear that. She’s say’s it’s happened so much in her life and continues to this day that she’s tries to use it as fuel. She’ll think to herself, “yeah I’m so small, watch me eat this entire restaurant.” She reaps the benefits of actually sometimes shopping in the boys section and saving a ton of money. She loves herself and as long as she is healthy and happy that’s all that matters.
A while back Gabby was landed in the hospital for a numbers of random reasons that were going on in her body. Her first hospital visit was due to her chest feeling tight. She said she would get dizzy and pass out and then she woke up in the hospital. Her Dr. said she needed to stay on a strict diet to help improve her heart which consisted of very bland foods that wouldn’t upset her esophagus. Shortly after due to all the stress on her body and the lack of nutrients her body needed in order to function, one of her kidneys got infected. She says that kidney infections have happened to her in the past when her immune system is down. She went straight back to the hospital, was put in anti-biotics that made her nauseous and lost even more weight. By the time she went to see her Dr again she was 102 pounds.
“I had to start consuming 8,000 calories twice a day. I would start with protein shakes, then a bagel and peanut butter, then I eat two things of oatmeal, then salmon, salads and pastas. It was uncomfortable and I hated it. I was full all the fucking time.” -Gabby
“I don’t want to eat maybe ever again, but I don’t have a choice.”
“My body is trying to absorb all of this and it’s fucking tired. I would have to stop working on the boat sometimes and take a break. Like this sucks but I have to eat these two sandwiches and bowl of oatmeal and then I have to haul my fucking body over the side of this boat, while some asshole is telling me that I’m tiny!!!” -Gabby
It took Gabby 6-8 months to put on 10 pounds. It was a really long process for Gabby to get her weight and body back to where it needs to be. She had to be really cautious of everything she did and ate. She worried if she was out too much she might launch into pneumonia and need to go back to the hospital. She had to keep up on her strict weight gain diet and it took her a year and half to get to a weight her Dr is comfortable with. She said she would get so excited when she would go up a pant size and say to herself, “Whooo! I’m a thirteen year old boy now!”
As a gay womxn Gabby told me what its like to be in her body when she is with another womxn. I asked if there were any partners in her past that have made comments about her body when they were intimate. She told me it has happened every single time. She knows most of the comments were not made to make her feel bad at all. But every time she has been intimate with another womxn, they have made some sort of comment about her smallness.
As womxn we are constantly overthinking about our appearance. Be it from our upbringing, society, social media, or basically anything else, we’re always aware of our body and what it’s doing and how it’s looking when we just need to let it go! Being mostly in relationships with womxn her entire life, Gabby understands what its like to open up about her body and own what she is insecure about.
I asked Gabby about what is has been like for her being gay and also a womxn of God. Growing up she was always taught to believe in a higher power. Her Mom and Dad would take her and her siblings to church every week. Her mom always raised her to follow her heart when it came to love. “My Mom would say if you find love you’re lucky. You can love a dog, yourself, a man or a womxn.” -Gabby
When Gabby graduated from high school she went on a long mission trip to Africa. She told me that while over there she saw how good religion could be. She identified as a Christian, was baptized twice, once when she was younger and again in Africa. She said after committing herself to God again she felt so amazing. She said it brought so much into her world where she felt humbled and safe and that it was real and she felt it and knew it was love. She also refers this to how she has felt her entire life about being gay.
“The problem is, the two of them run into each other in so many ways that if I’m an openly gay christen, then the Christian community will push me out. If I’m an openly Christian lesbian, then the gays are going to push me out. Either way, I was pushed out of both groups for the other one.”-Gabby
Gabby says that today she is in her own group. She has all these wonderful tattoos that show off her journey in her self and through God. She says it’s just like high school but only bigger now, I’ll just do what I did then and create my own group. She said there has been one time in her life where she was actually asked to leave a church and it was the church that sent her to Africa none the less. They told her that if she wasn’t willing to rebuke the fact that she was a lesbian that she could no longer be apart of that church. They basically un-invited her to their church telling her also that she needed help. *insert angry emoji face*
She did shortly after find a church that welcomed her with open arms. A church that during the pride parade printed off their church logo in rainbow colors and on the back, “God takes pride in you.” She now knows that she is not alone in this world. She has found a place that is accepting of her and her life and she says it makes all the difference. She never let her faith dull during those hardships she faced with the church and she wears her tattoos proudly.
I asked Gabby how she feels about her body today and this is what she said…
“I’ve accepted the parts of me that I don’t love and I love the parts of me that I do love. I’m blessed with a high metabolism, good hair, a long torso, boobs that don’t give me back problems. I got great tattoos that I put effort into and I love the clothes that I wear. When you get older to start to give less fucks about the little things ad more fucks about yourself.” – Gabby
Now for the grand finale, what Gabby had to say about this entire experience. <3 *grab your tissues*