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


About Leyah Shanks

Positive body image activist and advocate for mental health.

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