To people who feel compelled to comment on how I look

As times goes on, I just care less and less what any of you think about how I look or what I’m wearing.

This is a tiny joy in my life, a slowly building freedom that increases each time I actually manage to dress for myself. An itty bitty ‘fuck you’ to what I see as the patriarchy and its thumb grinding me down. Don’t misunderstand me – I still love clothes, dressing up, the aesthetic luxury that I’m able to choose from an excessive amount of options (I’ll never complain about that, I know I’ve got a good deal), but I really really am sick of living in a culture where anyone thinks I need their approval to wear any particular clothing option I might choose.

I have friends who seem to get that, who when they do compliment me on my clothes, do so in a way that is less about how I look and more about liking what I’ve chosen to wear. It’s those ones I like best, where I never feel as though I’m competing with anyone or trying to measure up to anything.

I’d love the world to be a place where clothes are creative, where nobody has to look a certain way to slide under the radar or grate up against it. Unless that’s what they want.

But get it into your head: don’t care what you think about how I look. Don’t care about your stupid feelings.

To people who talk first and then apparently don’t think later

Hey, pal with foot-in-mouth issues:

I’m sure you didn’t mean to call me “messy” in front of a good chunk of people we know when you noticed that I had a red face and was wearing gym attire. I’m sure what you meant to say was “you look like you’ve had a good workout”. I’m sure that was it.

You calling me “messy” in such a public context, however, is a fail. What it says to me is that it’s not appropriate for me publicly exhibit signs of having recently performed physical activity. Well, not quite that. What it says to me is that it would be preferable if I were to perhaps not sweat or get red while doing said activitiy. Perhaps also that I was giving off a few too many “I don’t give a fuck” vibes because I was all cracked out on endorphins from a tough but amazing workout.

When you call me “messy”, it makes me feel like my choice to pursue a healthy  activity is a bad choice. It makes me feel like my very real and human physiological response to exertion is unacceptable. It makes me feel like it’s preferable for me to be seen and not heard. It makes me feel like I should feel bad about my body.

And I don’t, I really don’t.

Don’t call me messy. Don’t set up barriers for me to trip myself over on in my quest to be a fitter, healthier, more productive member of the world. Just don’t do it.

To people who can’t use the same bike in their spin class every week

Hey spinners: I get it. I get why you’re there. Having recently bowed down to the power of RPM (or spin class, for the players at home) I do understand the weirdly addictive 5.30 starts (I hear it’s because of the endorphins; that shit is like crack).

We need to chat about an attitude adjustment when it comes to sharing toys, though. Multiple uses of the same spin bike on semi-regular occasions does not equate to possession. I understand it’s tough to break up your routine. It’s early in the morning, it’s cold, and some asshole is sitting where you wanted to sit when you walk in. Everything is topsy turvy; you don’t know your lefts or rights anymore; Christmas is ruined.

I have it on first-hand anecdote that the gym I go to is very much ‘first in, best dressed’ when it comes to gym equipment, but there’s still the sort of huffing and puffing coming from you that would passive-aggressively blow a house down. I sit wherever the fuck I want because I have decided to take this ‘best dressed’ sentiment on its merits. I thank you for not bothering me personally so far, if I have ever sat at your bike.

I concede I’m also somewhat unapproachable when psyching up for a 50 minute class of pedalling hard in the dark with a backlight on and dance hits pumping. And yes, I have noticed that first two rows of bikes are better. They just are, aren’t they?

Stay tuned for the update: To people who take my fucking bike in spin class.

To the Patriarchy, who is a hater

I know I’m not supposed to think any of the below, let alone say it out loud, but fuck you patriarchy, fuck you!

My little body is just wonderful. I love her. For the last little while I have been treating her super nicely, feeding her vitamins and minerals she needs, making hot breakfasts in winter with mushrooms and tomatoes and sauerkraut in them. I’ve been taking my little legs to the gym to pedal hard and fast, to sweat out the frustrations of the day that stop my poor brain from sleeping. My little legs are getting strong. My head feels clear.

Sometimes my body hates me for it, because it is cold and bed is warm. Because those first few pedals are harder than the ones that follow coz of the achy muscles. We get through it not because my little legs deserve to be punished but because those muscles actually secretly love getting strong.

Sometimes I stay in bed. That’s fine too. Being good to your body is about resting when you need to rest, I think.

The Patriarchy is all “but Guilt and Despair! And you ate that thing and now your hard work is all gone and you can’t talk about how hard you worked because you failed that one time! You’re never going to be able to go any faster that this! And your legs still have bits that wobble when you pedal really hard! Don’t you know how silly you look?”

And I’m all, “fuck you, dude.”