Find The Courage To Love Your Own Body

You were not born to hate the vessel that holds you, but it is not your fault for wishing you look differently than you do.

The judgments that people have cast on you for how you do or do not appear is nothing more than just a projection of their own wounds — wounds that were sown generations ago, wounds that have yet to be healed.

The way that your mother’s hateful words to herself have made you doubt your own beauty, is the same way loving yourself will show others that they, too, have permission to love themselves.

Love and hate spread the same way.

When you initiate healing, you heal the collective.

You need to lose weight.

No one will love you if you don’t put some weight on.

You’re too short, too tall, too this, not enough that.

Heard this before?

I grew up idealizing a body type. I thought I was imperfect, not good enough, not attractive enough. The melanin in my skin brought hate from others but the most damaging of words came from my own mouth. I’ve struggled with self-image for as long as I can remember. I was trying diet products by the time I was a young teenager. I was told by my own mother that no one would marry me if I didn’t lose weight.

It’s not her fault, she didn’t know any better. I’ve watched the body shame virus spread through her bones, projecting her own insecurities onto me. Self-hate is infectious. I watched how my beautiful mother looks at herself in the mirror. I’ve listened to the hateful words she has used to describe her body and labeled it as truth. I’ve seen how she wishes to remove the lines of wisdom from her face with the newest anti-wrinkle cream. It breaks my heart to see beauty in her but for her not to see it in herself.

But body-shaming doesn’t just impact young girls and women. I’ve seen grown men fear the lack of their own worth because of their height, or their size, or anything that doesn’t make them out to be an ideal.

Body shame and self-hate is, unfortunately, a very universal experience.

I do not wish for my children to grow up hating the vessel that has gifted them life. The body that lets them laugh, play and cry. Your body is your home — a home you spend every second of your life in. There is nothing wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with the way you look, and even if there were, it would not make you less worthy.

When you fully accept the dimples on your thighs and the tiger stripes that radiate from the centre of your chest, it becomes an empowering experience — not just for you but for all humans that were once told that they were anything but perfect.

The colour of your skin, the extra hair on the side of your chin, the cellulite that rests so gracefully on the back of your legs has nothing to do with you.

When you accept and love the body that is your home, you give permission to all those souls that have spent most of their lives battling with themselves to finally live in peace.

Taj Arora is a writer, poet, and travel photographer

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