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body talk

In a world where images of toned and muscled perfection are the norm, it’s hard to feel good about our bodies as they are. For this, our Health and Wellbeing issue, we put a call-out on Facebook for readers of all shapes and sizes to get naked and talk about their relationships with their bodies. We were more than surprised by the enormity and diversity of the response, and the shoot turned out to be a celebration of body positivity. Meet the gang who dared to bare all for GCN.

Lee McKinney 43

My body is a work in progress. I’m in the middle at the moment between the binary boy and girl; I’m at neither end. Right now that’s how I’m happy to be.

Most of the time I love my body. It has served me well. When I was 39, I had my son, so I held off on ideas of transitioning until after that. Since then I’ve picked back up moving towards the male binary.

There is no one right body, there is no right way to transition, to un-transition, to be gay, to be straight. Everything in life is fluid and your body is too. It changes throughout your life.

Jesse De Boe 21

I’m a recent graduate from NCAD and all my graduate work was about normalising nudity. It’s about being able to look at the body as a non-sexual object, and being content with it. People see their bodies as a product to attract a sexual partner, but when you can be okay with it in a non-sexual way, then you’ve got self-acceptance.

I think it’s the key. I used to be so paranoid about lumps and bumps and things like ingrown hairs, but now I couldn’t care less. It’s normal. You get a zit on your ass, so does everyone.

Obviously being confident is also about being sexually confident, but if you can take it out of the sexual aspect, you can have your body on its own and you can be happy with it.

Bella Fitzpatrick 28

I’ve been out as bisexual since I was nine, but I’ve been out as fat for only the past couple of years. What I mean by that is that I know am no longer living in a state of ‘when I will be thin’ or ‘when I will lose weight’. I’m not waiting anymore. I’m not a thin person inside a fat person’s body; I’m a fat person.

Whenever I’ve seen my aunts and uncles, no matter how much weight I’ve evidently gained or lost, they’ve always said ‘you look like you’ve lost weight’ as if that could be the only possible thing I want to hear. As a fat person, there’s no number of books you might have read, no amount of degrees you might have done, no amount of countries you might have travelled to – ‘you look like you’ve lost weight’ must be the pinnacle of what you want to hear. Over the past couple of years, I’ve started saying, ‘No, you’re wrong, I have not lost weight and I’m actually not trying to’.

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About GCN

This month, it's a very special edition of GCN as we celebrate our queer bodies and explore the crucial importance of self-acceptance. In our cover feature, 17 GCN readers bare all and talk to us about their relationships with their beautiful, unique physiques. Elsewhere, we offer some ideas and options for those hoping to turn over a new leaf in the new year. We also explore the meaning, and benefits of the oft-discussed but little understood concept of mindfulness. And of course, all the best community news, gossip, music, and much more!