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On Being Brown + Round in the Health Profession

There was a debate (and I use that term loosely) when the pictures of Moana and the demigod Maui were released, about the representations of the men and women of Polynesia.

Image result for moana disney 2018

A lot of the disappointment that I witnessed stemmed from the idea that Maui was too “fat” and “ugly”. There were other opinions that Moana and Maui’s bodies should have been switched as the Island girls are stereotypically that big.

Obviously, I was so disappointed when I saw this reaction. It was based on insecurities and pettiness. Because I myself had been so excited about having a Polynesian story on the big screen. Nevertheless this reaction did not change my view that Maui the Demigod looked strong and fighting fit.

Just like in the Western world, Polynesia have a culture of fat shaming and belittling the big and fat of us all. But that is for another post.

Ive been working as a Physiotherapist for 3 years now. Ive had a long struggle with weight issues since I finished high school and yoyo-ed like Zach Gormley. And believe me when I say it was hard to show up to learning about healthy living as a physio student when you have weight issues. I get the irony trust me.

But I want to talk about how bodies like mine, and like Maui the demigod… and like so many other Pacific Islanders are a certain type of body type. Not fat. Not overweight. Not obese. Our bodies are just…well our bodies.

I was taking a course last year where we were taping ankles. Note, as usual Im the only brown girl (Cmon folks, get into Physio!) And the tutor was taping mine. And besides being flat footed, I do have big feet according to Western standards… but that’s just what they are… my Island feet. And as she was taping, she seemed to have a hard time maybe. Because she commented saying that… “It’s okay, Island girls always have gumby feet” and people chuckled. Heck I chuckled too. And then I didnt.

Are you blaming me for your inability to tape my perfectly normal foot? Like seriously. That experience got me thinking for the longest time about how we treat people we see, especially people of colour. And how the health profession blames being fat on many ailments- not that this is not always wrong, but sometimes, it is a scapegoat.

I think we need to do better about learning about different body types and stop pushing this weird idea of what is “normal”. Cause trust me what is “normal” for white folks is definitely not “normal” for Island folks. I have assessed a few Island boys that were huge, but were strong and flexible. And they have been called “fat” and “obese” by my colleagues.

So Im asking that we have an open mind about these things. Dont just assume that people are fat and unhealthy. Fat does not equal unhealthy. And fat does not equal ugly.

Thanks for reading.

marion

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letter to my 19 year old shy and introverted self

hey lovely

so you have a crush? Lol and it’s killing you from the inside out. I mean, what’s the difference between this guy and every other weirdo you’ve fallen in lust with? I know it sucks babe. It sucks the fricking air out your lungs. And I know you tried so hard not to let this guy get to you. Cause he was one of the ones you always kind of thought was cute. but who cares about cute? There are worlds to be seen.

Continue reading

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sorry

there are days all i do is berate myself
tease my skin with knives
and let people tell me what i cannot do
there are days i will stare at myself in the mirror
and curse and pick at all my flaws
wish i were smarter
wish i were more organised
wish my hair were thicker
my hips wider
my arms thinner
wish i were more motivated
wish i were more like other girls
wish i loved myself
wish i were happier

some days it’s hard to keep my head above water
i find myself struggling with
loving myself
and hating the way i am
im so tired
of this constant internal war

this morning i woke up
i looked in the mirror
and i saw a sad lonely girl
this beautiful strong woman
who has survived and lived
after every goddanged thought
that she could not make it through another day

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letters to God 5

Hello Mr. Creator,
it’s been a while

i think i say that every time i remember to talk to You

how do we always seem to drift apart like this?
i call on You
You call on me
somewhere along the line i just kept missing your calls
and i swear it wasnt on purpose
but i never did get around to calling You back
a text here or there maybe
and i know You still care
otherwise, what’s the point to it all right?

im wondering where to go from here
i want to keep our lines open
i want to keep talking to You
but somehow life always seems to get in the way

ok now im making excuses

how many times can i keep asking You to forgive me
before You wont want to anymore?
tell me please
because i dont want to be without You
i really dont

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musings of an ‘introvert?’ sidenote: i hate labels

i would say i am antisocial but antisocial has such a negative connotation to it
im antisocial in the way that i prefer my own company
(and how is that a bad thing if its not hurting anyone?)
but im not rude to people when i do have to interact
and why should i have to do things that make me feel uncomfortable and fake?
i make a lot of friends because i do generally like people
and im a polite person
i just find it extremely hard to maintain friendships and relationships
because i hate getting to know people
because that’s when they start to annoy me
when you get to know people you have to make compromises
you have to engage them, tolerate them, accept their faults
and let them see yours
and sometimes im pushed to change myself so that people will accept me
i feel things that i dont even believe in
and i hate that part of me
and the best me is the me when im alone
the best me is a slob who loves dancing and reading books, watching tv series and taking long walks and not going out clubbing and getting drunk and dressing however the hell i feel like which is basically a tee and shorts and most days i marvel at my self consciousness. like why do i feel the need to shell myself for people because im afraid that they will find me uncomfortable? find me strange? find me repulsive?

fuck a social norm i need to love myself.

because honestly? if not me then who?

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an artsy kind of love

When I first laid eyes on you
I wrote a song
About the way your eyes light up
When you smile
How your eyes seem to crinkle
and your lips twitch
when you laugh
And how your laughter reverberated through my body
And I felt a warm feeling in my chest

When you first spoke to me
You said “Hey”
And I said
“I’m good”
I painted a portrait of the sun behind you
The way the colours red and yellow, orange
The way they blended into you
I painted the sea gulls that were being fed to your right
And the guy with the dreads playing his guitar
He was singing about love
Or trees maybe
I can’t remember

When you hugged me
I wrote a novel
About a girl and a boy
Who came from different tribes
And the tribes were at war
And of course they fell in love
When he saved her brother from his uncle’s sword
He lay unconscious in her arms
And there was a twist of some sort
But I haven’t finished it yet
So we just gotta wait and see

But the point of this poem is
I love you
I think
You inspire me
You move me
I want to just be with you
Like hang out, man
Chill with you
But also have amazing sex with you too
Okay, maybe I am moving a little too quickly
I like you
A lot a lot
So this one’s for you