On gender dysphoria and weight

I struggle with questions related to weight, body image and gender dysphoria myself, and it can be super tricky to find ways to cope! I always had (and have) a hard time making the distinction between my body dysmorphia and gender dysphoria. Here body dysmorphia is used to characterize the feeling when “you can’t stop thinking about one of your body characteristics, here weight and that it negatively impacts your life “. It is important to remind ourselves that body dysmorphia is a mental health disorder and we can experience it with various intensity throughout our lives. I’m taking the time to write this because if you decide to do some research on body dysmorphia, you will find a lot of medical articles and it can be triggering.

 

Body dysphoria is rooted in fatphobia, we are told from an early age that a fat body is a “bad body” and that a thin body is a “good body”. The truth is that everyone has a “good body”, but it is super hard to go through the world as a fat person, just like it is hard to go through the world as a trans person! When you are fat(ter) and trans+, people will put all the misconceptions they have about fat and trans people on you, which is hard to carry around. Fatness is also really gendered in our society, if a person is “curvy” or has “wide hips” they will be seen as “feminine” where someone with a bigger abdominal belly or a wider neck will be seen as “masculine”. As a transmasculine person, reminding myself that a lot of cis men have wide hips or curvy figures helped me with my anxiety. I recommend following people that look like you on social media, or people that remind you of yourself.

 

Body diversity on your social media feed can help our self-esteem and it slowly creates a positive narrative about fat people! Try to stay away from people that make you feel bad about yourself, and to keep those who make you feel good close. Another thing that helped me is to purposely stay away from mirrors when I’m in a bad self-esteem mood. For me, public transportation is really hard: a lot of people, being surrounded by mirror-like windows is a good recipe for self-esteem disasters. I noticed that with hormonal replacement therapy and gender-affirming surgeries, public transportation is getting easier, but it is still really hard! I try to repeat to myself that everything is okay and that people are not starring at me, loud music also helps!

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