Lots of things get “reclaimed” — body shapes, offensive words, etc. Today I’m doing something bizarre: I am reclaiming disease.
September is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Awareness Month.
I’m going to present you with a narrative that is NOT popular with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: I am proud of and happy with me having PCOS. Because what it gave me is a beautiful, soft, warm, luxurious face and body full of curly, beautiful fur. Like a tree, I am decorated in moss from my face, neck, chest, and nipples down to my belly, cunt, back, asshole, and legs.
It is my crowning and all-enrobed glory. It is my pelt. It is my fecund, abundant femininity sprouting forth in pheromone-laden, primal, earthy joy.
I am not beautiful despite it. It is part of my beauty.
So, yes. I have trouble losing weight around the middle, and my periods are torture, and I can’t make babies. (I’d rather adopt anyway!) I look at it as a small sacrifice for not just my fur but for what I have been able to do with it — I raise visibility.
I offer an alternative route to self-loathing (not that shaving is self-loathing. But thinking you are a “mistake” is). I tell women they don’t have to “be grateful for whatever they can get,” and settle for concern trolls, fetishists, and white knights. I show that a woman can — if she wants — be hairy AND happy.
That said, I do not want to trivialize the trials of those people with PCOS. I do understand and recognize that it causes pain — emotional and physical — for many people. I honor that, I respect that, and my heart breaks for them.
But with so much of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome rhetoric revolving around phrases like “overcoming” and “battling with” and “suffering from,” I want to expose a different viewpoint. I want to — without policing or shaming — show that one can, if one wants, embrace their endocrine variance as part of what makes them special and beautiful.
I’m proud of my beard. I’m proud of my hair. I’m proud of my high testosterone. I’m proud of my ovaries for being the ovaries they are.
And if all this does is show others with PCOS that it doesn’t have to be a sentence? Then that’s good enough.