10.23.15 | Meg Zulch
When you're trying to pursue self love, body positivity is an essential part of the journey. It's a valuable tool, one often used in plus-size circles, gender non-conforming/trans communities, and other groups of people that are marginalized and made to feel less beautiful about themselves by society and the media. Sometimes things happen to our bodies — sometimes because of these marginalized identities we inhabit — and it's hard for us to look at ourselves the same way afterwards. That's when body positivity becomes crucial.
I have explored the topic of body positivity in the past as it pertains to my gender identity, skin disorders, and in learning to love my more jiggly bits. However, my experience with trauma to my body is one of the things that has shaped my body conversation the most, as well as my relationship with sex. Abuse, trauma, and sexual assault are very physical manifestations of the ways in which our patriarchal society can make us feel powerless in our own skin. And all of these can contribute vastly to a general feeling of shame, making it difficult to maintain the same connection with and trust for your body, especially in a sexual context. I can attest to this personally, because two years ago, a person I thought I knew violated my trust and sexually assaulted me.