#4 ~ Have No Shame

Some tops are not made to be worn, not if, like most, moisture accumulates underneath your arms when you are cold. Some tops are great for days like that – the body moisture (note to self: because you drink water it has no odour), blends perfectly well with the texture and colour of the top so when you raise your hands for a salutary high-5 there’s no awkward pause from the responding partner. Some tops suck at that. Into this basket I throw fitted dark grey cotton polo necks. They look fit, but the problem is they fit (haha) too well and tend to shift from grey to black in the under-arm section of the otherwise perfect selection of final-year battle gear.

So this evening I found myself crouched (literally) under a dryer with my body twisted towards the ceiling and my arm looped over a less than capable stainless-steel contraption (it was the second one I had accosted), as I slid my body up and down the tiled bathroom wall trying to repeatedly trigger the sensor so small puffs of supposedly hot air would dry my underarms.

It looked weird. I was so hoping no-one would dash in for the toilet, as the sight of me polishing bathroom tiles with my rib-cage and inadvertently thrusting my hips at the fitted ceiling lights was disturbing even for my reflection, let alone someone actually detached from my being.

But, I found myself in said position, because I had two options:

Option 1: Rock about with black patches oozing from your armpits to under your bra-line and feel self conscious that your body is leaking

Option 2: Fix it.

Now there is nothing wrong with our bodies natural functions. I recognise the image I have just depicted would seem as though I were sweat-shaming myself and in the process all other human beings with sweat glands who wear clothing. I love my sweat, it keeps me alive, keeps me cool, sometimes it acts as a natural moisturiser (ok, that’s a joke gone too far), but I don’t really have a problem with it as an essential part of my being. Of course my noted insecurity is a product of a social image I have all but digested which presents the body and all its natural functions (especially anything that leaks and moreover is related to the female anatomy) as grotesque – and we have a long journey to fight such a warped view of ourselves, BUT, before I digress and begin pontificating about my various stances of feminist politics, I learnt a valuable lesson today, one in PRO-ACTIVITY.

I was pro-active about my situation. I didn’t like the position I was in, I didn’t want to wear a self-created 2 tone polo neck, so I did what I could to avoid such a situation. I took initiative and went in search of a ‘cure’, or at least a means to achieve my desired goal – a non-sweat obvious piece of chest clothing.

I’m about to start my first week of lectures. For the past few years a lot of material has skipped gloriously over my sculpted head, sometimes it even sings a lullaby as it goes by. I’ve been afraid in the past of asking questions, of approaching lecturers or fellow class mates. I’ve felt stuck – i know i’m supposed to ‘get’ the information, but I don’t and I don’t know how or where to ‘get’ it. So I walk around with obvious dark patches in my intellectual knowledge and my weekly essays.

This year I’m finding that dryer – two if need be. And if it means sliding up and down metaphorical bathroom tiles (which, in context, would be the equivalent of pulling night shifts in the library and being the student who asks a question *breathes sharply* at the end of lectures) in order to get that puff of dry air, that spark of inspiration, then so be it.

If your armour has holes in it – it’s pretty shit. If your armour doesn’t protect you as expected, it isn’t doing its job. If you don’t have the initiative to get an alternative and thus place yourself in the most confident and comfortable position possible, then the only person you’re hurting is you. And if you don’t know how to fix your armour, then you are a handicapped soldier. Solutions start with you – have no shame to ask the question, have no shame to do what it takes, no matter how embarrassing, to get what you need (so long as it’s legal and doesn’t actually injure or harm another human being…or this planet).

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One thought on “#4 ~ Have No Shame

  1. Katy says:

    Great piece! So good to see you writing again, with such honesty and humour. Advice re: the air drier – take off the jumper and hold it underneath said drier! So what if someone comes in and sees you in your bra? We’ re all women, right?

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