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Zoom and Body Image Issues

Hi everyone! Here we are. The edge of the world. The edge of the apocalypse. Home quarantined. Home bound. Isolated, if you're smart. And everyone probably freaking out in their own way -- locked inside either by themselves, or with family members you probably never knew you'd be spending this much time with. I wish I knew what to tell you all. But there's one segment of the population I'd like to speak with -- the segment of homeworkers using ZOOM.

ZOOM. For those who are unfamiliar with this it is basically a video way for people to conference for work, play, or otherwise. It seems to be the preferred way most companies are conducting from home work meetings now. Which for anyone without a crippling mental body image issue is probably super relief because you can see other people without leaving your house.

Then there's the rest of us...

With those issues...

Who can barely look in the mirror in the morning without wanting to kill ourselves.

But are being pressured to be part of the corporate gig on ZOOM. We love our jobs. We want to keep our jobs. We just don't want to be on video every single day...

I have suffered from severe anthropomorphic body disorder from the age of 13. I have battled my weight, nearly starving myself to death on several occasions throughout my life. There have been brief instances in my life when I have felt confident, usually at my lightest weights, but for the most part I hate looking in the mirror unless I am in full makeup and hair. And, even then, I judge myself far too harshly. And I know this. I wish I could be "body positive". I wish I had been born into a different generation, a different upbringing. But it just didn't happen that way.

I am a product of my mother telling me I was fat, feeding me diet pills starting around the age of 12, kids at school beating met up for being fat since the age of 7, the magazines telling me I was fat, the media telling me I was fat, and later in life men leaving me because I wasn't pretty enough or skinny enough. I was a kid of the 80's/90's/ when "heroine chic" was a fad. For those of you too young to remember those fucked up days, that was an actual term coined by the fashion industry that meant if you looked so skinny you were about to be were pretty. I believe they also called it "waifish glamor"...

As a result I developed "anthropomorphic body disorder". It is a collective conditioning from all of the negativity over the course of decades which completely rewires your brain from a normal functioning human being to a total dumpster fire of insecurity. That means when you look in the mirror you don't see what other people see. You see ALL OF THE FLAWS that are in your mind. Real or not. And those flaws are often exaggerated in your mind to a degree that is crippling.

So, imagine being in that place in your mind, and then asking you to be on camera every day. Where, not only are other people seeing you, but you can see your own self speaking. And, let's face it, the camera on the computer is less than flattering. It makes you look fatter, flatter, grayer, horrible... Until you're down a rabbit hole of self devastation and you're ready to just give up. You could spend hundreds on a lighting system for your desk, spend hours every day doing your hair and make up and trying not to look terrible... But we're in the freaking apocalypse and many of us are depressed because of that alone. We're working from home. In our pajamas. Leave us alone...

And NOW you're being told that if you DON'T do this then your job is in jeopardy.

Think about it... This is why I ask people now to be considerate when people say " I would rather not be on camera." It doesn't mean the person isn't in the conversation. But PLEASE do not ask them to be on camera. That is just not necessary to conduct business.

I am at the heaviest I've been ever. The last 8 years of my life have been absolute hell. Multiple traumatic abusive relationships that have dissected my self worth and left a shell of what I used to be. Needed critical surgeries that have left my body ravaged and in ways mutated because of surgical mishaps. Mishaps I don't have the tens of thousands of dollars that it will take to reconstruct them.

All of this feeds into the face you see on ZOOM. I don't want to put myself on ZOOM. I want to make sure your job is done efficiently and as eloquently as possible. I want to do my job as best as possible at all times. But please. PLEASE don't demand I video conference with you unless I feel comfortable with you. Or otherwise I'll disappear for a week in deep depression... And no one needs that....

Thank you...

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