Question: Changing Bodies

Anonymous asks…

Some days I enjoy my body as it is, yet other times I can barely look at it in the mirror. How do you deal with your constantly changing feelings toward your body?

Please post your response in the comments below.

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Posted by on July 8th, 2010 at 04:00 pm

Category: questions 9 comments »

9 Responses to “Question: Changing Bodies”

  1. Bubblegum Blues

    I feel the exact same way. Some days I’ll even try not to talk so I don’t have to hear my voice.

    I just try to get through it a day at a time, knowing that not every day will be a bad one for it.


  2. Joel

    I am a transman waiting to transition and for me, some days I absolutely dread the mirror, hate my body for the obviously incorrect bits and loathe even the smaller details such as my dark, thick eyelashes and small hands. On better days I am indifferent towards my body, mostly unaware of it but I know that this is not the way I want it even though it is not causing me pain that day. What I mean is, do you enjoy your body or does it simply not harm you some days? Is there an intermediate step you could take to change it and feel better about yourself?


  3. Nicholas

    I had this problem until I started working out. Seeing desirable changes in my body made me appreciate it more and contributed to my overall well-being. Endorphins are great too, regular periods of peace (post-exercise!) are great for your mind, you get to look at your body more objectively that way I think.

    I discovered a lot about myself from exercising, and things that I had hated my entire life became unique and special to me, because I was able to look at them in a positive light.


  4. Rusty

    It’s bloody hard. Somedays I detest looking in the mirror, and some days I wink at myself. *-^

    I suppose – even though I don’t spend a lot of time on my appearance- I spend more than I used to just to prove to myself it’s worth the while.

    Take any direction you possibly can towards being more pleased with yourself without being too self-involved. There’s a difference between caring and obsessing. If I hate my hair, I cut it, I toss clothes, I refuse to dress the way others want me to. And then I eat a bagel because they solve everything. Never sit there and moan, go out and try something. Not to say I’m out of the tunnel yet, but the hate days are less and less.


  5. Ethan

    I agree with Nicholas; some of my most gender/body-positive moments come after an intense session of hot-yoga. I have also found that, after recognizing/acknowledging being genderqueer, I started to notice parts of myself always ignored and was able to see/read my body as feminine or androgynous. Yes, sometimes the broad shoulders and hair still get to me, but I find my stance and the way I project have much more to do with the way I read my gender than body structure.


  6. Meike

    I’ve typically learned to dissociate myself from the rest of my body. It’s like I look at myself in the mirror and detach my head from everything else, because I never really mind my face or hair. I try to avoid full-length mirrors because half the time when I actually see my body I start hating it. It’s probably not a healthy way to go about it, although I’m thinking that the whole exercise idea might be worth a shot. Also, I’m seeing a psychologist who specializes in transgender issues, so in case I’m headed in that direction (or in general when a sense of dysphoria kicks in) I have someone who I can explain myself to and who can help me come to better terms with how I am.

    Oh, and when I’m feeling REALLY dysphoric I try to do things that make me feel comfortable and happy, like read or watch TV…or go to the men’s section of Target…whatever floats your boat.


  7. Sean

    I never thought about the exercise thing before – it’s always helped me to think more clearly about other things, but for some reason it never occurred to me to try it on my body. Thank you!


  8. Meirion

    I’m learning to do the same head-detach trick as Meike. As long as I don’t think about anything below my shoulders, I can handle it. Full length mirrors are the devil, though, and I try to avoid any mirrors at all as much as possible — the longer I look at myself, the more dysphoric I get.
    But if I can’t avoid feeling really terrible, I either distract myself by doing random things that I enjoy, or I soothe myself by planning a new haircut or thinking about how great it will be when I can finally get on T. I just have to look to the future, rather than wallowing in the present.


  9. Mike

    On bad days I read. I do that anyway but I find that little helps me escape from physical pointlessness better than a thorough airing of the imagination. A good long story and I’m so busy being absorbed in that I’m far too occupied to even think about self-conciousness. It’s my mechanism for life.


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