Heh. But seriously? Why can’t we? Every so often there will be a post that inspires controversy in this website. I’ve just closed comments on the most recent one without even reading the ones that appeared in the last 24 hours. Because I don’t have the energy at this moment in my life. I’m grieving, trying to clean up an entire life and make plans for the goodbye while still trying to keep my usual life somewhat in control. So, I’m sorry for deleting the last comments, and I hope you understand why. I’m just tired.
But what I want to ask you is this: keep your ears and mind open. Everyone has a story. It might not match yours, but it is just as valid. Language is the only way we have to communicate with each other online, and being very careful with the words you choose can change everything in how others respond to you. Likewise, assuming the best of the person using the words can change everything in how you feel about what you are reading. I’m not asking you amazing women to keep quiet and just take whatever shit comes your way, rather I’m asking you just speak up carefully and wisely, as though you were speaking to a dear friend.
In controversies the true intent of SOAM is often bandied about by various commenters, each giving their own take on it. What I love about that is that everyone has a different opinion, and everyone is right. SOAM is about many things. Just as most things in life, people especially, it cannot be reduced to just one facet of its existence. All those different ideas are what makes up SOAM together.
Similarly, there is no one shape for a woman’s body to take. Women are curvy and not. Women are tall and not. Women have large breasts and not. Women have stretchmarks and not. Women have extra skin and not. (Those lines inspired by this post.) What I love about this is that every one is beautiful. My goal is to help women truly understand that and be able to say, “I am beautiful!” No qualifiers. Full belief of that statement.
SOAM is often criticized for not showing mothers whose bodies are unchanged. It is equally criticized for showing only mothers whose bodies are unchanged. Personally, I think it shows both. But there is a disconnect between the two, and it seems to live within the myth that healthy eating and exercise = thinness. The truth is that there is SO MUCH that goes into what a body looks like that you just can’t make such a statement. Sometimes women do everything “right” and it’s not enough. Other times women don’t move enough or eat too much sugar, and still look like a body in a magazine. We each have our own story. Please remember this. When you write your words, please remember that everyone lives their own story and that everyone is beautiful.
Like I said, I’m in a bad place in my own life right now so I hope this all came out sounding clear and kind. If it didn’t, give me the benefit of the doubt and ask me to clarify. On a related note, please excuse my inactivity here. I’m just trying to keep swimming.
And like I said above, you are all amazing. Thank you for everything you do here at SOAM.