Fucking for sport made me super confident. I became really comfortable with my body by exposing it and deriving pleasure from it. It was never the men I was intimate with who made me feel bad about my body, it was the beauty-perfection-obsessed culture and its shitty products and even shittier promises. I’ve been a victim and a peddler: I work in advertising and I’ve helped sell boring, oppressive, unachievable fantasies to women. It’s impossible to separate yourself from it, whether you’re writing the copy, or just riding the bus.
Some years ago I decided to fight back and treat the poisonous symptoms like a nasty cold. I stopped buying and reading women’s magazines (which was hard because I loved magazines), making body resolution lists or taking my measurements or buying diet books or any of the other seemingly positive “goal-oriented” ways I used to police and compartmentalize my body. I stopped weighing myself. I tried very hard to transform the language I used to speak about myself to others, and in my own head. I walked everywhere I could. I honed a sense of style and wore my clothes well.
And I fucked my brains out. I performed. I switched my head off and just became a sexy body. Nothing made me feel more beautiful than coming on a stranger who was wild about my form.
I didn’t execute all that perfectly, I was too drunk much of the time, I don’t love every part of me every second, and there are really serious consequences to fucking for sport — it has to be safe omg, but I’m surprised how I managed to inoculate myself in a few years. Aging helps a lot because as you get smarter and more confident, you naturally reconcile unwanted physical changes with how much better you feel about yourself overall. I've merged from monitoring myself to caring for myself. The switch is an internal one, it's not even something I could teach you. It's a decision and it's work.
Honestly, I’d never go back to my 20s. Ever. If my body was hot or beautiful, I wasn’t ready to embrace it anyway. I’m glad I listened to Fiona Apple and other angry chicks when I was young because even if didn’t embody the sentiments of their songs yet, their strength and vulnerability got under my skin, helped me fight the disease. I have countless fierce female mentors to thank for that.
So I lost a decade to the fucking magazines. At least I strutted my way back to self-love in really hot heels.