Loving a growing body

IMG_0435_v2_cropI haven’t posted a lot of body positive stuff in a while and I want to talk about that for a moment now that it’s no longer a secret that I have a bun in the oven.

A few months before I got pregnant I started gaining some weight – and then some more during pregnancy (naturally). And while I think all bodies are beautiful no matter their size, I did have some mixed feelings about my body changing. It’s not always easy to notice and address my emotions while I’m in the midst of it all, but it’s more clear to me now that I get some distance to it.

I didn’t realize at first that the weight was bothering me at all. I felt fine with the person looking back at me in the mirror and wasn’t hating my body or anything. But the thing is, I haven’t been too keen on showing it off either. It’s been fine as long as it’s hidden under large sweaters and some loose fitting pants, but it has felt a little icky once the clothes got removed.

You don’t have to be comfortable with showing your naked body to the whole world to be body positive. Loving your body does not mean the same thing for everybody. It will look different for each of us. But I know what it means to me and I love to take pictures of my naked body and have never been embarrassed to show it off so for me to suddenly feel uncomfortable with that means it’s time for me to check in with myself and see if everything is ok. And to be completely honest it hasn’t been.

As a Non Binary person that struggles with dysphoria from time to time, having my body changing in a way that emphasise my feminine features has been challenging. My belly is getting larger every day, and so is my breasts – which is the most difficult part for me. I’ve desperately wanted to be one of those pregnant people who embrace their changing bodies and feels beautiful all the time, and I’m working on it. I’m just not quite there yet.

What’s great though is it only took me to realize, acknowledge and accept that within myself for the negative feelings to slowly start to fade. Body acceptance and self love is not something that happens over night, it’s a journey. And that is ok.

I’ve started experimenting with taking some photos of myself again, and it’s helping a lot with regaining my confidence and body positive attitude. On the pictures bellow I tried to make art out of my difficult emotions towards my body by embodying the darkness within.

My body was different half a year ago than it is today. My body will continue to change in the time to come. But by not attaching myself to what I looked liked 6 months ago or what I looks like today, I can try to embrace the changes that is to come. My body will take me on a weird and wonderful journey this year, and I’m gonna try my best to love and accept it as much as I can. I just need to have some patience.

My gender journey so far

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It has now been around half a year since I came out as non-binary genderqueer, and I feel like it’s time for a little update. I’ve learned a whole lot after I allowed myself to be who I am, without hiding anything or suppressing a part of my identity.

When I first came out as NB I decided to keep my she/her pronouns. I have later discovered that I’m actually just as comfortable with he/him or they/them. I think the reason I chose to hold on to my old pronouns earlier was to not make anyone uncomfortable with having to readjust. This is still something that is important to me, because making other people uncomfortable makes me uncomfortable, which really doesn’t serve anyone. That’s why I decided to let other people choose what pronouns they use for me, because I like all of them. Most people use she/her out of habit, while a few uses they/them, and I’m comfortable with that.

When it comes to other words used to describe me, I have discovered that I’m ok with some of the feminine terms, while others – not so much. Words that describe my relationship to someone in my family, like daughter or sister feels ok to me, while words that directly describes my gender (wrongly), like lady, girl, female or woman I’m not so comfortable with.

Another thing that has changed since I first came out is that I no longer feel a need to prove my gender to anyone through the way I dress or present. In the beginning I was overcompensating for my feminine sides and constantly worrying that people wouldn’t take me seriously if I didn’t present androgynous. Now I am getting more confident in myself and I know that my gender is valid no matter how I’m presenting on any given day, and I do not have to prove myself to anyone. Gender is not so much about how I look as it is about my internal feelings and experiences.

Girls don’t have to wear pink dresses, boys don’t have to be tough as fuck and genderqueer people don’t have to present androgynous to have their gender be valid. To challenge this norm is to move the world forward and expand people’s acceptance of diversity. I know that I’m far from the only person that has another experience of gender than the binary male or female, and I know how important representation of gender diversity has been for me.  I realize that I can be myself fearlessly in all my colors, and at the same time contribute to making other people feel represented, validated and less alone. And that my dear friends, is reason enough to love and be proud of myself. 🌈❤️

 

Not a girl

IMG_7422You know how sometimes life just hits you in the face with a brick? Well that is kinda what has happened in my life lately and I’m just working on holding my head above water in the middle of a stormy ocean of thoughts.

I find it easier to talk about hard things when I get some distance to the issue, and not while I’m in the middle of it. It’s easier to see the complete picture once the fog clears up a bit and time passing offers me a new perspective.

Experiencing some traumatic events recently has brought up a lot of stuff that I had put the lid on, which in turn have caused me a lot on anxiety. I’m currently working on sorting through everything and helping myself by talking about my feelings and experiences with close friends and family. And while I do not feel ready to open up about everything to the whole world quite yet, there is something that I feel it’s time to share.

I’m non-binary.

Which for those of you that are not familiar with the term means that your gender identity is not exclusively feminine or masculine, but a combination (or for some people: neither). In my case my experience of gender can vary from day to day, but generally I tend to be a little more on the masculine side.

IMG_6545 (2)I find it difficult to change my pronouns right now and have decided to continue using she/her for the current time being. That might change in the future, but it might also just remain the same. I just know that this is how I feel now and have been feeling for some years. I have struggled with dysphoria on and of since around the time I became a teenager, but never really been able to grasp what that feeling of something “not being right” was. Now I know, and I will no longer let it consume me.

This doesn’t really affect anything about what you have to call me. My name will still be Jeanett and my pronouns remains the same for now. I just needed to come clear about this to have one less thing to think about. I want to embrace this part of myself and not have it be a source of anxiety. And what better time to do so than right now as the Pride week kicks off here in Bergen?

If anyone is left feeling confused after reading this or is curious to know more, please do not hesitate to ask questions. I will not get offended by your questions – just happy to share and have interesting conversations that we all can learn something from.

Lots of love ❤️🌈