Damned if we do, and damned if we don’t.
Escorting has allowed me to be my true self in more ways than one. I have gained a new found confidence, a trait that is inherent in my personality, but as always been squashed down and suppressed by the societal norms that girls have placed on them from an early age. I learned as a kid that I should not like my body. I remember reading magazines that picked apart girls and taught me what men liked and how I could modify my image so as to become more popular and liked by my peers. I vividly remember one morning in pastoral care group in grade 8 (yes, although no-one in my family is religious, I attended a strict Lutheran private school….) we had to write down on a piece of paper things we liked about ourselves, one being a body part. I wrote that I liked my long legs – I think I also felt grown up as I had started waxing too. I remember my best friend at the time mocked me, and I quickly learnt I should be ashamed and embarrassed by my body. So instead of finding things I liked about myself, I would look in the mirror and pick out all my flaws.
In high school, I was lucky to cut ties with a few toxic friends and finally was able to come out of my shell more, and eventually gain back some of my confidence. It is okay to be me and love myself. Although, I have recently realised that this bold self-love has had a reverse negative effect. Namely on how I view women who choose to alter their image. I am ashamed to admit it; I have always judged women for getting surgery to change their appearance. Before it was, women were damned if they didn’t have a perfect ‘XYZ’, now it is, women are damned if they choose to do something to have a perfect ‘XYZ’. This double bind is really messed up. It hasn’t been until I started escorting that I have seen how flawed this complete 100% body positive ‘accept-everything-about-yourself-and-love-it-no-matter-what-because-if-you-do-not-you-need-help’ attitude is. It is so toxic for women who want to change something about them as it is excluding them from the discourse and shaming them for somehow not loving everything about themselves. Now I am of the opinion, if you want it, do it; if you don't want it, don’t do it. It is strange as I have been of the view that we make our happiness and are solely responsible for it, but for some reason, I never actually extended this view to include body image.
For example, I have always been very self-conscious about the severe asymmetry of my breasts. I know most women have asymmetry, but in my case, it is well over one cup size difference between the two. I went to see a doctor in high school, and she reassured me that they would even out, and not to worry. As the years went by, they never evened out, and it has always been something that has bothered me. I thought, no I must accept them, and love my body completely. I got them pierced at one stage as I read a cute post on Tumblr about how a lady pierced her mono-brow, and by drawing attention to it, she learnt to love and accept it. So I thought: right, this will be a good way to fall in love with my breasts. For a while it worked, I was happy with them – I didn’t mind the asymmetry. Then the novelty wore off, and ironically my body rejected them.
It took me a while to finally decide that I wanted to go ahead and have breast augmentation. I was torn as I felt I should just embrace my flaws, but at the same time, I was starting to feel uncomfortable in my skin. One of my oldest and closest friends had recently had the surgery so I started quizzing her about the procedure. I also reached out to a few lovely sex workers on Twitter, and they kindly gave me advice on who to see/some things I should consider.
I wouldn’t call myself impatient, but when I make my mind up about something that’s it, I focus on it and strive towards it until I achieve it. So with my heart and mind set on having a breast augmentation I started contacting surgeons. Within a few weeks, I had a surgery date set.
I am now five days post op and am so happy and proud of myself that I went through with the procedure. I have had nothing but love and support from my family and friends. To be honest, I am very thankful for sex work, that it has allowed me to be myself completely, and not to be apologetic for the decisions that I make in my life.
It is my body, my life, and honestly, I’ll do as I please. I really hope that this snippet of my story will inspire people. Everyone should be able to live their lives how they wish, without fear of judgement of others, or feel pressured to make decisions based on others opinions or preferences.
- Poppy xx