Love Ourselves, Love Our Bodies: Ali Andwele

Today’s story comes to us from Ali Andwele.


Here is my story: “The alarm clock goes off 9:00 a.m. I lay there recapping one of my many dreams where I’m running on a beach feeling the sand between my toes, the sun shining on my face, and I’m exposing my bare manly chest. My pecs are large like a silverback gorilla in Congo and my arms are massive! I feel like a gladiator from Greece. I never want dreams like this to end but reality kicks in and I’m faced with the agonizing pain that I’m a man who has enlarged breasts instead of pecs and the sun will probably never shine on my face because my outlook is so melancholy. It’s been a pain to wake up to roll out of bed and start my day at times. It’s been a pain to even look at myself–to be seen out in public sends sharp pains all over my body. But I still lift my head up; I don’t want anything to give away my secret.

I look over at the clock. It now reads 9:05. I pull the covers back and lug my 190 lbs. to the bathroom and flip the switch. I look closely at myself imagining how I would look with my massive lumpy tissue gone. I start pressing down my breast to flatten my chest to see a more male contoured look. I shift my body side to side looking at each and every angle, something I do often when I can bear the sight of myself. How wonderful life would be with these hideous things gone from my past life.

Sigh… enough with my fantasy land. I take off my shirt, exposing my secret. Baring my insecurities I slide open the drawer and pull out the black heavy duty duck tape and proceed to temporarily hide my abnormality. I stretch the tape out making sure I line it up on my chest correctly, shifting my loose breast tissue to the side. It takes years of binding to get the tissue to break down in the breast. To get elasticity I do the same for the other side, making sure the tape goes under my arms meeting in the center of my back. I run my hands across the center making sure I have no lumps. The pain is unbearable at first but I got used to it fast. I had no other choice but to get used to it. Crushing the ribcage to the point of suffocation, the tape almost acts as an anaconda having me in a tight vice grip. As much as this hurts and is a health risk in so many ways, it still puts a smile on my face. I pull my shirt down, take in a deep breath and give my reflection a quick wink and turn off the light.”


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