I’ve discovered something curious about myself in the last few years, and it has everything to do with what makes me feel more positive about my body.
If I try to modify myself to look attractive, or even acceptable, I tend to get very stressed. Anything resembling performative femininity makes me more self conscious and uncomfortable, not less so. I’m less confident when I wear makeup in a conventional way. I’m less confident if I’m wearing clothes that are supposed to be sexy.
However, it’s very different if I set out to be deliberately weird, grotesque, peculiar or otherwise odd. If I dress like a goblin I feel better about myself. If I paint my face as though I am a piece of boro embroidery, or mark myself with little black lines to be the Queen of Crows, I am more at ease. I become more comfortable in my own skin when I’m actively trying not to be attractive to anyone.
I suspect there’s also a thing around who responds to me if I’m not trying to perform attractiveness for them. I’m overall much more invested in engaging with people who find me interesting, and not keen to deal with anyone who simply finds my body appealing with no reference to who and how I am.
Fortunately for me, I’m married to someone who understands that and who prefers me feeling comfortable. And who on this occasion, painted my skin for me in a way that helps me feel more comfortable with myself. Body positivity on my terms.