This picture is of me and my sister. It’s nonsexual, it was taken as part of a photography project she was doing.
I’ve always had a low self esteem. During my first year at college I started to get a lot better about appreciating my body the way it was, and I was finally getting over the eating disorder I had struggled with through high school. Unfortunately I was in a lot of pain. Near the end of the year an MRI revealed that I had a tumor. I returned home and was diagnosed with bone cancer (osteosarcoma). I had a football sized tumor growing in my pelvis and nodules in my lungs. To make a long story short, I went through a year of one of the most intense chemo regimens that can be prescribed. I had several surgeries. February 23, 2010, I had the surgery to remove the main tumor. They had to amputate my entire right leg and the right half of my pelvis. As you can probably imagine, they also had to cut through a lot of nerves. I lost all bowel and bladder function, and although they didn’t cut through my genitals at all, I did lose all feeling in them. They gave me a colostomy. The plan was for me to catheterize normally, but between the lack of feeling and the removal of a lot of muscle, if there was anything in my bladder there was nothing stopping it from coming out. Even with an indwelling catheter I had to wear adult diapers, and I would go through several in one day. Having to wear adult diapers when you’re twenty is kind of a self esteem destroyer. Between my leg, the colostomy, and peeing all over myself on a daily basis, not to mention feeling like my body was falling apart, I really started to hate my body. I started to feel like it was something I was attached to, not actually a part of me.
In November 2010, I got a surgery that closed off the bottom of the bladder so I would never leak again, and it used my appendix to make a sort of tube to my bladder that I could cath through. Basically there’s a small hole in my stomach now that I insert the catheters into. While it feels amazing to not leak and actually be able to wear underwear again, the damage has been done. When I think about my body I think about how disgusting it is.
I can’t say that since finding your site and reading a long way back in it I’ve started to love myself again, but I am starting to hate myself less. You don’t exactly have pictures of amputees, but seeing all the different body types is making me feel better about me. Hearing about how accepting people are makes me think that maybe there are people who wouldn’t be disgusted when they saw me naked, let alone clothed. I get plenty of stares and disgusted looks, but I try to remind myself that not everyone is like that, and your site has helped a lot with that.
Thank you so much for doing this. I can’t even begin to describe how much it means to me.
(submitted by weaselmalaria)
I am near tears, this is a beautiful and powerful story. I cannot believe all that you have gone through just to be able to live. I am honored that you would even think of submitting this to my blog. I am so honored that you would even thank me. I am honored to see you in all your vulnerable badass beauty. I don’t know how to thank you for being so brave as to share your story and your beauty with my readers and I. There is beauty in your strength and in your body for simply existing. You are a powerful soul, deserving of love both from yourself and others.
I am deeply grateful that you sent this, and I am happy to help you share your story.
I just received a heartwarming yet heartbreaking message from weaselmalaria’s sister, modifyevolution. I wish her and her family peace and love in this time of grief and change, and hope my followers can do the same.
(Amanda, please let me know if this posting is inappropriate in any way or you want me to remove it.)
My feminist rants drive all the boys from the yard.
Get off my land you little shits.
Explain that it’s rare (only one on Worldcat.org) & that you’re an independent researcher working on a project about slash fiction. The slash holdings are in this library: www2.bgsu.edu/college…
You are a wizard :D
I will do just that! Thank you! Also thank you for alerting me to the existence of worldcat.org, because oh man things I needed.
do you know amanda warrington? she’s been in the fandom since the 80’s and has published zines. great resource and super friendly!
I do not know her, but it sounds like I should! Is she on tumblr? Does she have a website?
Black women who made the Time 100 List For 2014. Creative singer, dancer, artist, philanthropist and feminist Beyoncé, creative outspoken actor, artist and feminist Kerry Washington, tennis legend, philanthropist and business owner Serena Williams, Chicagoan and now head of U.N. World Food Programme Ertharin Cousin, Nigerian economist and past Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Ugandan activist Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, South African human rights lawyer Thuli Madonsela, and Kenyan tech guru Ory Okolloh.
Laverne Cox and Janet Mock DIDN’T make the list though. Clearly both had a major impact in 2013. Both have been outspoken about Black trans women and trans women of colour’s rights and lives, both have created remarkable and important art and both have been influential and highly visible. They should’ve been there. Easily.
Beyoncé made the Time 100 List in 2013 as well, but this year has the cover after a successful and influential year in 2013, from her Super Bowl performance, to her world tour, to her incredible visual album BEYONCÉ, to being more outspoken with her feminist politics through her music, and through other projects—some I like (speaking, writing, fundraising, philanthropy), some I’ve critiqued (i.e. #BanBossy/Lean In)—all while being committed to her family, her marriage to Jay-Z and motherhood to Blue Ivy.
As I wrote about yesterday, there is a DIFFERENCE between the legitimate desire for representation of Black women’s humanity in the media while still creating our own media (as ignoring the mainstream does not erase harmful messages about us are placed there) and "oh that’s White approval!" This distinction and understanding of how media representation impacts us is important.
maurice.bgsu.edu/record=… Contact special collections and ask for a “research copy” of the zine. BGSU has slash collection
Wow you are awesome, thank you! Do you think they’ll send me a copy even though I’m not currently associated with any institution and I’m in a different state? Sometimes I want to go back to school just for the libraries….