Before “revenge body” was a show or even a part of our vernacular, it was read between the lines of every magazine on the grocery store shelves and the most over-prescribed “wisdom” that your well-meaning friends could offer. Go – go become the hot piece that you always wanted to be. Mend your emotional wounds in the most primitive way possible. Power through it with the rage of thinking that one day, if you push hard enough, you’ll become attractive enough to be wanted. To be regretted. To be envied.
There are so many deep and twisted layers to this, but let’s just sum it all up like this: your body is not collateral. Changing it to “get back” at someone is not empowering, it is degrading. It keeps you stuck, and perhaps, shocked, when the day comes that you become all that you wanted to be only to discover that the photos go unliked, the calls go unanswered, and the interest has waned even more than before. Or worse, if they do change their minds only for you experience that particularly disgusting feeling in your throat when you realize that it is only because you look like a semblance of yourself.
There’s no other way to say it than just to say it: fuck a revenge body, go get a revenge life. Give yourself the life you wanted them to give you. That’s where the healing is.
Go build the career of your dreams not so that they can Google you one day and say hm, guess she really did it, but so that you can live out every day of your life in a way that feels effortless and yet deeply rewarding. Go find yourself the partner of your dreams not so that someone can become territorial again, but so that you can get a real love story. Book a trip by yourself and post photos not so that you can evoke the envy of someone who may have wanted to be beside you, but so that you can see parts of the world you only once knew the names of, and so it can open you – stretch you – in ways far better than you ever could have imagined.
Instead of trying to get the body of your dreams, go get the life of your dreams – not so that you can convince someone to love you, but so that it doesn’t matter whether or not they do.
Getting the life of your dreams means caring about yourself in the way you always hoped a significant other would. It means doing the things you were waiting for someone to do with you. It means becoming exactly who you want to be, only because you want to be it. It means caring about yourself in the most fundamental ways. Caring about things like vitamins and wearing SPF and learning to meal prep and finding your staple clothes and discovering who your best friends are and finding a genre of fiction you love to read and saving money and spending time with your grandparents.
Build the life of your dreams moment by moment, day by day, not so that someone can say, I wish I would have stayed, but so they will finally realize she didn’t need me anyway. Build the life of your dreams not so that you can prove something to someone, but that you can prove to yourself that you were all you needed. So that you can finally see your happiness and your potential was limited only by the edges of your imagination – and all the wrong people who were only holding you back.