On fetishization vs. attraction
So the other day I was with someone who actually identified as a chaser, which was, I think, a first. That identity makes me a little uncomfortable and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, but it ended up being really nice. In that, I assume, because he was used to fat bodies, he knew how to treat mine in ways that felt really good. But of course he also saw my body in a way that I wasn’t used to and it sort of freaked me out. Thought I am pretty sure the bewilderment that someone else could find my body in any way but less than enthusiastically attractive is some internalized sizeism shit that I need to work on.
And so I wonder where the line is drawn between fetishization and attraction? And is the former necessarily a bad thing?
And, conversely, if you are attracted to someone whose beauty standards are supported by the culture, what makes your fetishization of them when you worship their ripped abs, body hair, big dick, bubble butt, et cetera, any different? And why is that just seen as appreciation? Hook up sites are full of requirements for qualities like these that are understood and merely seen as preferences and normal. Why, when it comes to my body, is there a qualifier on fetishization? Because there is something wrong with my body being found attractive, or, even more scandalous— preferred?
And yet it is difficult to not feel objectified in this instance. And I will admit that I am resentful that my prospects are reduced to these, as I do not particularly identify as a “chub” and am apparently bold enough to feel like my body and attractiveness transcends the label. Then, also, what is the worth of being attractive and attractiveness? I believe in the validity, humanity and worth of those not traditionally attractive. Often the sexiest things on a person to me are the things that would make them unattractive to someone else. So why place so much stake in the institution of beauty for myself? I don’t know the answer, and it makes me worry I have not decolonized my mind enough.
I think part of the answer, for me, at least, is to have never truly known mutual attraction and desire, and while I know, as a rule, to put little stake in the validation by others, it nonetheless makes me feel as if there is something wrong with me. While I am madly in love with myself, am I seeing something differently? Wrongly? Is others (apparently) seeing me in a way I don’t see myself indicative of the world or of me? Is there something else wrong with me completely that has nothing to do with my body? (Spoiler alert: I am deeply scarred, introspective, and uninsured, so Tumblr is my therapy.)
The line is hard to draw and, I think, something people will ultimately have to decide for themselves— what they are comfortable with, and how much.
For me, though, I see little wrong with wanting to be seen as an entire person and not reduced to a trope. I want my body to be appreciated because I am appreciated. Because my mind, strength, power and beauty and the role my body has had in shaping those things about me are recognized. My body is irreversibly linked to my Self; they are inseparable to me and others doing so is insulting. And that the people who can appreciate my full self and the ones who can appreciate my body seem to be mutually exclusive categories is wildly frustrating.