My body is a sin, my body is a temple.

Monday, February 19, 2018

This month's author, is my beloved friend Cherie. Cherie and I met when I was visiting Azusa Pacific University during a graduate school interview weekend. She was my host. Later in life, Cherie and I ended up working together at San Francisco State University - and besides our work, Cherie and I are kindred's in 2 ways - body image and our Christian Faith. Cherie was my Church for many Sundays in the last 2 years. You'll find her message thought provoking, beautiful, and gusty, and easily how I describe her, and how she draws people into her space.

Cherie Bachman has always had a passion for people but that has been expressed in different ways through out her life. She began her work in child care and then worked with college students. Most recently, she has changed gears in her career to work in clothing retail. This shift still allows her to focus on her love for people, but now specifically with plus size people in helping them feel comfortable and beautiful in their own skin. In the past year, Cherie was inspired to start her own fashion and body positive blog and Instagram with one of her good friends, Erin. They consistently strive to be vulnerable in their journeys of self love and excitement for fashion in order to inspire others to do the same! 

Two truths about me:
I’ve always been fat.
I’ve always been closely knit to people of Christian faith.

One thing that I have always been shown:
My body is a sin.

One thing that I have always been told:

My body is temple.

At my on campus job when I started, someone said, “We have a dress code here, you must dress in business casual. No T-shirts or jeans.”

After a couple weeks of abiding by the dress code, “It was brought to our attention by many who work here that the clothes you are wearing expose more than we’d prefer to see. Please dress more appropriately.” I cried the whole way back to my dorm and then proceeded to wear t-shirts and jeans.

My body is a sin.

At Church, listening to the pastor speak, “Now, ladies, you come to church with your chest all out just causing temptation and pushing our brothers to sin”...Is he looking at me? I swear, he’s looking at me.  

My body is a sin.

“Are you really going to wear THAT out? Shouldn’t you try to cover up more? You don’t want to be a distraction”...

My body is a sin.  

“I don’t think she is going to find anyone who will find her attractive enough to marry her unless she loses weight.”

My body is a sin.

I have been treated as if my body is a sin, immoral and pulling others into its black hole of filth and disgust. Having a fat body full of curves that peak out of my clothes, I'm constantly told that it's “too much”, and to hide my body. I'm told that me, just being, affects men. Men who can't seem to control their own bodies and do things and say things to me that I don't want them to do and say. I'm shown that my body isn't welcome unless it is edited by making it smaller or invisible if I can.

Cherie was recently featured on Torrid through her styling on @Thickfunandfabulous
When, I was living in L.A., it felt like everyone was thin and perfect. I whispered to myself, “You're either going to love or hate yourself.  What do you choose?” I can't imagine hating myself. So, I choose love.

So actually, my body is a temple, and this is how I know...

My mom gently traced the freckles on my back, “your shoulders are beautiful.”

Yes, my body is a temple.  

I reach for my toes, arch my back, stretch my hands high, breathing - Giving myself space, giving myself relief.

My body is a temple.

With the Golden Gate bridge as a backdrop, he pulled me off the trail and under a tree. He pulled me close and kissed me. My body tingled from my lips to my toes.

Yes, my body is a temple.

I have always been told that my body is a temple, that I should take care of it, treat it with love, and present it well.

My body is a place of worship. A place to be grateful, it has been a shelter for weathering my storms. It has been a shelter for others when they can't build it for themselves. My body is comfort. My body is love. My body is empowerment for me, and others. My body is beauty in whatever forms it has. My body is a sin...No, my body is a temple.

Follow Cherie's IG @Thickfunandfabulous

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