I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently.
For years now, I’ve been well aware of the tense reality that most women live in when it comes to how we’ve been trained to feel about our bodies.
We’re taught that we are alive in order to be beautiful
That our appearance is the most valuable asset we own
That health and beauty are the result of willpower, stress, and effort
That feeling good about your body is a luxury reserved for those who fit a certain standard (which is nearly impossible or at least unhealthy for most women to achieve)
That we should apologize for not looking perfect
That our appearance is a direct reflection of our internal state
That it’s normal to hate your body
That loving your body means giving up
I could go on, but I’d rather talk about the revolution that’s happening. More and more women are saying “Screw this” and embracing themselves for who they are. Embracing their bodies for what they are. Deciding that they are valuable and worthy of love not despite their bodies, but rather because they’re human beings, too.
If you’ve ever been in a situation where a group of women are speaking badly about their bodies, each voice chiming in to announce something about her body that isn’t perfect, and you choose to remain silent instead of participating in this act of self-hatred, that is revolutionary.
If you decide to speak up and say, “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with my body, and neither should you”, that is even more revolutionary.
Choosing not to apologize for having a bad hair day, leaving your house without makeup when normally you wouldn’t, and ordering dessert because you feel like eating dessert...are all revolutionary acts.
These things are simple but they are powerful. They certainly make statements and strike conversation and thought. They are also terrifying because it means going against the grain and wondering if you’ll be met with ridicule or opposition. It’s okay to be terrified, just know that you aren’t alone even if you feel like you are.
There are women out there by the zillions that are finally fed up with the idea that we shouldn’t be able to like ourselves or eat cake until we’re a size 2. They are done with the idea that we’re supposed to feel badly about ourselves and instead are deciding that love should be the new normal. They are rooting for you and encouraging you to continue moving forward on this journey of getting to know yourself and fall in love with yourself.
I hope while you’re on this journey - which has no destination but rather is a repetition of choices that you must make everyday - that you understand how beautiful and powerful you are for not conforming to that which makes you feel poorly. You are the writer of this story.