I have a confession: I HAVE A FUPA!
You might be asking yourself, What on this earth is a FUPA? The Urban Dictionary defines a FUPA as a Fat Upper Pubic Area, but I fondly call mine Creation. I’ve had mine since before the term FUPA even came into existence — and, for a long time, I hated my Creation.
I hated it because I always had a hard time buying clothes that would fit me. See, having a Creation, plus being well rounded from behind, plus having a smaller waist, makes shopping not so fun. So, for years and years, I did everything in my power to hide my Creation.
I never wore anything that was form fitting. I just couldn’t. Every time I looked at myself in the mirror, I loved how I looked from all angles — except when I saw my ever-so-lovely fat pouch. I hated wearing jeans because none ever fit me correctly. Needless to say, getting dressed up was always a nightmare, so I stopped even trying. I would just toss on the first big shirt I could find to hide my FUPA.
I’ve tried everything you can think of to get rid of it. I’ve gone on every diet imaginable. I’ve done tons of situps, crunches, and lower abdominal exercises. I’ve bought one too many body shapers in an effort to flatten my Creation from existence. It just doesn’t go anywhere. I can be 140 pounds, and it’s there — just as I can be at 260 pounds, and it’s there.
The constant barrage of subliminal and not-so-subliminal messages was all around me, which really didn’t help me one bit in loving my Creation. Commercials constantly advertising belly-fat-burning products or flat-stomach-exercise videos were the worst. It got to the point that I hated to watch even my favorite shows because those constant reminders were sure to pop up.
Finally, a few years ago, I decided to stop torturing myself, and I started to wear clothes that I’d always wanted to wear. Yet I still found a way to not accentuate my Creation. I was still not comfortable and, when I was getting dressed, I would often grab my Creation and ask it to go away. Then, about five months ago, I stumbled upon a video of a C-section. I didn’t know what to expect, but I assumed it was going to be uncomfortable for me to watch. I hate blood, and I hate watching anything having to do with surgeries. I do know this, and yet, I had to watch it!
Now I finally know that my Creation comes from having been pregnant three times and undergoing three C-sections to deliver my four children. (I know the math doesn’t add up; one of my pregnancies involved twins.) I had never actually seen a C-section procedure in action. I have to admit that it was difficult to watch, but I did — in the same way that you watch a scary movie with one eye closed and one oh-so-slightly opened. I was in awe of what I was witnessing. I finally imagined seeing myself in that video, placing my body on that surgery bed, imagining that blade touching my skin, and being cut, tugged, and pulled in ways I never knew. What can seem like a violent way to bring life into this world became beautiful to me.
I actually had to sit there and really soak in what I had watched. Just like that — suddenly and without warning — I had a whole new respect for myself, for my body, and for my Creation. To think that my Creation had undergone such extremes was mind blowing. Not only did I learn to love it, but finally, after so many years of feeling that I was less of a woman because I hadn’t brought life into this world the “traditional” way, I also felt a sense of wholeness.
There is something about babies and pregnancies that makes most women want to share stories and compare notes. I hated those conversations! In the past, when I shared that I had never experienced vaginal birth, I always seemed to get this Oh so you don’t know what it’s like to have a baby speech. Those words always stayed with me and became part of the reason why I hated my Creation so much.
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That video was about three minutes long, but those three minutes changed me forever. I no longer have those feelings of not being whole or of not loving what I thought was unlovable. I now place my hand on my Creation, and I think of the four lives I have been privileged to bring into this world. I think about the miracle of life, about the creation of a tiny body, about that body being formed inside my body. I look at my scar with love and think of the many years I have been a mother. I get dressed in the mornings with form- fitting clothes, and I love how beautiful I feel, and I remember that there are four human beings walking on this earth because of that FUPA. I feel whole, and I accept that this was my way of bringing life into this world and that I am no less of a woman.
I’m sure that some reading these words are thinking, Well I have a fat pouch, too, and I didn’t have four children. To those I say this: Whether you have a FUPA because of a pregnancy or because you have added some extra pounds throughout the years, love that part of your body. It’s part of you. It’s part of your story, of your journey. No one else in this world has one just like yours. To practice radical self-love, we have to love every single inch of who we are. To live in radical self-love is to say, I don’t care what the world thinks about me. I just know what I know about myself, and I love myself completely! It’s taking those negative thoughts about the parts of our bodies that we have been conditioned to think are unlovable and finding a new symbolism, a new way to find them worthy of love.
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I challenge you to redefine that unlovable part of yourself. Dig deep to find a positive symbol and meaning with regard to that part of your body you have hated. I guarantee you that, once you have found that love for the unlovable, you will finally have the freedom to be uniquely you.
In order to continue producing high quality content and expanding the message of radical, unapologetic self-love, we need to build a sustainable organization. To meet these efforts, we’re thrilled to share the launch of our #NoBodiesInvisible subscription service. This service will provide our community with access to additional content and rewards for your monthly investment in furthering our radical self-love work.
[Headline image: The photograph shows blogger Gabi Fresh, a light skinned woman of color with dark brown hair leaning on the railing of a swimming pool. She is wearing a purple patterned bikini.]