For as long as I can remember, people have talked to me about my body.
Family members making jokes about my weight, adults telling me to cover up as if my body was something to hide, boys telling me to show some skin, and politicians telling me what I can and can’t do with my body.
I’m sure you’ve heard the whole “Your body is a temple!” spiel, but I’m not here to say that.
This is me, claiming my body for what it should have been, what it is, and what it always will be: Mine. Just as your body is yours.
My body is not here to be sexually or aesthetically pleasing for anyone else. My body exists for one reason, and that reason is to keep me alive. It has one job, and that is to make sure I can do what I need to do to exist.
I admit that I have not always treated my body with the love and respect it deserves. For a long time after my family began making jokes about my weight, I skipped meals or lessened my calorie intake, I scarred my body to make it seem as unappealing to others as it was to me. Yet my body healed itself over and over again as a gentle reminder of how much it loved me. I was – and still am – its sole reason for existing.
My body is not here to please the people around me. It is here to carry me through my daily life so that I can soon change the world, and that’s what yours hopes for you as well.
For a society that preaches so much about loving yourself, we do nothing but judge others for being too skinny, too fat, too tall, too short. We laugh at those with distinct facial features or scars on their body.
But nobody respects that a body has been broken and healed, over and over again, miraculously.
Our job is not to say anything about anyone else’s body. Our job is to love our own and respect others.
Our worth does not come from how physically attractive someone else finds us.
Your body loves you more than anything else in this world, and you should love it the same.