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My pregnant battle with Body Image Demons

Like a lot of people, I have a complicated relationship with my body. My body is wonderful. But due to not unusual hang-ups and high school experiences, I don't treat my body as a friend of any sort. My body and I are were getting to a good place though. And, then I got pregnant. Though I was (and am) very excited to be pregnant, I was also now in full combat with the Body Image Demons™.

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I (started to) defeat my body image issues with a sword

A few months after starting to run regularly, my fiance found a local sword fighting class. Even a year earlier I might have hesitated (“swords aren’t for people like me”) but thanks to my new-found confidence, I was ready to dive in. I’ve spent the last six months focusing on thinking of my body in new, positive ways. I focus on what I can do instead of my perceived flaws. I don’t wake up every morning feeling like the most beautiful woman on the planet, but I also don’t usually wake up in a cloud of self hate.

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Joining a freakshow to really feel human: My life as a bearded burly carny lass

Hi. I'm Little Bear. If you haven’t heard of me, I’m a bearded lady. I perform both solo as a singer of opera and show tunes (often incorporating burlesque), and as a member of Seattle-based modern sideshow troupe, Wreckless Freeks. And if the thought of a bearded lady who takes off her clothes, sings on stage, and lies on beds of nails brings to mind the term “attention seeking,” you may be right. However, I have not always been so candid in admitting so.

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Why I love altering my shape with corsetting

I’m very proud of the shape I’ve been able to achieve over the years. But, unless I’m going to a special event where I feel it will be appreciated, I tend to somewhat hide it — I just don’t want to get stared at with those confused looks. There tends to be an assumption that corseting is a ridiculous way to look thinner. But that’s really not what it’s about at all. It’s about a lot of things, but that is definitely not one of them.