I’m sorry you’ve been convinced that the body you live in today doesn’t quite measure up. That you now believe your breasts need to fill a certain cup size, that your thighs must not meet each other, and your frame needs to mimic that of the women you don’t know but scroll past on Instagram every day.
I’m sorry for all the times you get out of the shower, catch a glimpse of your naked self in the mirror, and look at the reflection starring back at you in disgust, before instantly diverting your eyes elsewhere.
And I’m sorry that you’ve been made to see those dimples etched on the back of your thighs, the stretch marks trailing your belly, and the imperfectness of your body as ugly.
I’m sorry that you’re now unable to enjoy food the way you did as a little girl. That your mind is constantly obsessing over every calorie consumed, counting every bite that you take in, and panicking about gaining the tiniest bit of weight.
Maybe food has now become a go-to comfort for you, a drug that helps you temporarily feel better and forget about how deeply unhappy you are within yourself. Or maybe it has become a source of control, and you’ve learned to ignore those hunger pains, which grow louder every day.
I’m sorry that you spend the majority of your day feeling un-desirable, un-worthy and struggling to fit in to this world.
I’m sorry for all of those times someone said something cruel to you about the way you look, and that you decided to believe them. And I’m sorry that you carry around all of those words in the back of your mind today as a constant reminder that the woman you are is not, and will never be, good enough.
I’m sorry that you don’t believe your body is deserving of love. That you think you have to settle for anyone who takes an interest in you, because who are you to think you can do any better than that?
I’m sorry you now allow people to mistreat you and cause you pain because you think it’s your fault. You think that if only you had a smaller waist, a slender figure or a flatter stomach then you’d be deserving of someone better – someone who truly loves you for all that you are, inside and out.
But it’s not your fault. It’s not your problem. It’s our problem.
It’s our problem that women die every day from starving themselves because they believe they need to be thinner.
It’s our problem that young girls are made to feel like they need to crash diet or get cosmetic surgery so they can look like the models and celebrities they see on social media.
It’s our problem that most women are unhappy with their bodies.
And it breaks my heart that chances are you are one of them.
Because it shouldn’t be this way.
We shouldn’t aspire to look like clones of one another. We shouldn’t be unhealthily obsessing over our figures, and mutilating our bodies in order to mentally go from an average 7, to a 9 out of 10. We shouldn’t be placing so much value on something that isn’t going to last and has no real bearing on who you really are.
So I ask you today to remove yourself from this competition that none of us women ever agreed to in the first place.
I ask you to love your body exactly as it is today, and remember all of the wonderful things it allows you to do.
And I ask you to make a promise to yourself to be more tolerant of those bodies you’ve been taught to recognize as ugly – especially if that body belongs to you.