This is my body, as it is right now. This is the body I have hated and hidden from for years. That I have lied about and bought lies about. I have denied it health and vitality and joy because it doesn’t fit the image I was taught to want. That I was taught was good, ideal and the only acceptable way to be.
I don’t like what I see and I hate that. I hate that a part of me still believes that there is anything wrong with the person, the body, in these images. I remember being a kid and enjoying having a body, dancing and laughing and playing and just *being*. I remember the slow crumble of my sense of pride and sense of self as worth being proud of. How it was buried under snide comments and unwanted attention, under non-consensual touches and words, and abandoned dreams.
We talk about how representation matters, how it’s important to see ourselves reflected in our stories and images. I don’t see myself represented in positive ways. I hardly see myself at all and that needs to change. And it starts with me, with my eyes and my view of myself, even if -maybe especially if- that view is messy and complicated and incomplete, at least it is the truth of the moment.
As I wake up to myself, I’ve come to realize that I need to stop hiding. I need to own this body I live in. It’s the only one I have, the only one I get. Self acceptance means accepting and appreciating the whole of my self.
So This is me. This is what I look like right now. I exist. I don’t have an hour glass shape or a flat stomach. I live with chronic pain and illness and I dream and write and sculpt and tell stories and host tea parties with my friends and laugh and dance and sing and fucking live. I’m a part of this thing I call my life, and a part of the larger thing we call community and culture and I am done hiding.
“For if that which you seek, you find not within yourself,you shall never find it without. For behold, I have been with you from the beginning and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.”