My sister and I call them boofers.
Boofers, as defined by my sister and myself, is the wad of fat on both sides of the back, found just above the hip and waistband, along the back rim of the pelvis. Most women over the age of puberty have them. I do, for sure. You probably do, too.
Here, I’ll show you.
I’m not sure how or when we came up with the name, but I’ve always known what they are.
I’ve always, always been aware of them. Even when I was a 112 pound anorexic, even when I had no hips at all. I’ve always felt the boofers, between my bones and my clothes, and I have always hated them. Their presence. The thickness of them, the way they pushed my jeans away from my bones, the way they creased. Their substance.
The boofers, along with the other folds of skin along my back, have been life long gasoline on my anorexic fire. Ana hates the boofers with the passionate fury of one thousand burning suns, and she reminds me of it every time I feel them back there.
[“Ugh we are so gross, we are so thick and fat and GROSS.”]
…funny, I haven’t thought of Ana in a long while. She really must hate the boofers, because she’s out in full force right now, clamoring for action and attention.
[STFU, Ana. You’re not allowed around here any more.]
Even without the thickness, I have never liked the boofers for aesthetic reasons. What probably goes unnoticed on more long-bodied women is quite evident on me. I have an exceptionally short waist.
I am 5’6″ tall, and I have a 34″ inseam.
LEGS FOR DAYS.
Super short upper body.
In fact, my torso is so short, to this day I have never found a one piece swimsuit that fits. They all sag in the crotch. Dresses don’t fit. Shirts that are supposed to stop at the waist drop below my butt.
Boofers are what make my exceptionally short waist look even shorter from the back. They help to create the smooth, trunk like transition from my rib cage to my ass, removing any feminine curve. They are what create a substantial muffin top when I wear too-tight-waistband pants, and they are what help to support and prop up serious folds and creases when I arch backwards.
The boofers, together with my short waist, have bred a deep sense of self-consciousness about my back. I don’t like wearing shirts that show my back below the armpits. I don’t wear (and have never worn, even when I had a nineteen year old flat stomach) crop tops, sports bras without a shirt, or two piece swim suits in the company of other people.
Back then (and even still today), in my head I appear from the back the same way Danny DeVito did as Penguin in the 1992 Batman Returns, specifically the scene when he died a miserable (albeit deserved) death and fell over like a top-heavy, too-many-scoops-on-a-teeny-tiny-cone ice cream treat.
My fear tells me I look just like that from behind.
But then came The Body Image Project, and today I took this picture.
I see folds.
I see curves.
I see no masculine, shapeless trunk, I see the definition of “feminine.”
And, never mind that I actually gave myself a back cramp that bordered on complete spinal spasm to take this selfie, I think I look pretty great in this picture.
Not pasty white Penguin back-ass.
Just woman back, and woman ass.
I’m sure there are people who would look at this picture and say “you need to lose some weight.” “You need to hit the gym.” “You are absolutely not a role model.” “You’re fat and disgusting.” “Time to lay off the cookies, please stop eating cheese, quit putting cream in your coffee, no more butter for you.”
To them I say “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I just learned that I don’t have an ass like Penguin, I’m fucking fantastic! BRING ON THE BUTTER!”
(just kidding. I don’t celebrate success or confidence with food anymore, but I would say it to throw their insulting, unwarranted, unwanted, unnecessary opinion back in their face.)
(well, mostly kidding. I still eat butter.) :)
The picture we paint of ourselves in our mind is so, so harsh. It’s fear based, biased, judgmental, and so, so unrealistic.
I know this to be true, because I have done it all my life.
I STILL do it.
That picture of my back just above is proof.
There is a condition called body dysmorphic disorder, and it is defined as “a psychological disorder in which a person becomes obsessed with imaginary defects in their appearance.” I know for sure that I struggle with this disorder, and probably always have.
Maybe you do, too.
The point is, regardless of what you think of yourself, you must consider that your perspective is based in something other than reality. Maybe how you see yourself is skewed, even just a little bit.
Maybe that part of you that you hate so much, the part that you wish you could cut out, the part that you’ll change with wish number two when you finally find a genie,
maybe it’s not as bad as you think it is.
Maybe your mind is tricking you and making it way, way worse than reality.
My mind does that to me all the time.
Please, please take part in this or your very own Body Image Project. TAKE PICTURES. Look at them. Look some more. Stop filtering. Stop editing. STOP HIDING.
There is a truth to you that you haven’t yet recognized, and that truth is ENOUGH. It is beautiful.
It is exactly what it should be.
You are enough, and exactly what you should be.
Just as you are.
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Live every day like it’s your last one. Find yourself, own your truth, and change your whole world. Forge Depth, and never stop digging!
“I don’t celebrate success or confidence with food anymore…..” That is awesome and totally flipped a switch for me!!