Asexual body image – Shanni’s story


For me body positivity has always been a difficult thing. In elementary and middle school I was already the odd one out, labelled the class nerd, and the fact that I was chubbier and more awkward than my classmates didn’t help much. In high school I neglected my body, depriving it of sleep and healthy food while I prioritized my studies in a competitive academic environment. In my senior year of high school I developed an eating disorder and for the first time I really noticed my body, and not for the better.


As I was in treatment for my eating disorder, I was finally discovering my sexuality. I had had boyfriends in the past, but it rarely felt “right” sexually. Romantically it was fine, but for whatever reason I could not enjoy physical intimacy. For a very long time I thought that this was because I did not have enough confidence in myself or in my body. However, I slowly came to realize that this had to do with my sexual identity; I identify as a queer asexual, which means that I don’t have the desire to participate in sexual activities but that I can be romantically attracted to all different gender identities, though I mostly go for males. After realizing that I wasn’t “broken” and that this was something that other people had and *gasp* embraced, I became more and more comfortable in my body.


I have finally come to realize that I can view my body to be intimate and sexy without having to engage in sexual behaviours. I am currently at my heaviest weight and happier than ever. I can rock a garter belt with a skirt and corsets are a regular part of my wardrobe. In the past I have depended on others to provide me with body positivity and validation that I’m not hideous, but now I feel confident in myself. Of course, I still have my bad days, but with the help of so many awesome body positive women on Instagram, I have finally come to love myself as a beautiful size 6 asexual queer engineering chick!


If you want to share your body image story, get in touch with me at iamleyahshanks@gmail.com


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About Leyah Shanks

Positive body image activist and advocate for mental health.

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