what we tell ourselves about our bodies

when you’re 18 and the jeans that fit your friends don’t fit you the same way you don’t think, “different people have different bodies and there’s a pair of equally good jeans out there for me”–because no one ever told you that, and it’s 2003 so you’ve never seen a fashion ad with a body like yours.

instead, you think, “i have a bad body.”

 

when you’re 15 and your friends are getting cute little bralettes and pretty things from victoria’s secret but those don’t fit you you don’t think, “breasts come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and there’s an equally attractive bra out there for me”–because it’s 1999 and there isn’t.

instead, you think, “i have the wrong body.”

 

when you’re 21 and it’s fashionable to wear heels so you do but they make your feet achy and numb, you don’t think, “i shouldn’t do or wear things that cause me pain, there are alternatives to this”–because it’s been modeled for you that this is how women live.

instead, you think, “i’m too sensitive.”

 

eventually you’re 35. you see representation almost every day for all kinds of bodies. you see clothes being made to fit these bodies, and you see this accessibility being talked about. you’ve realized that folks have been fighting for decades for the right to live freely in their bodies and to have their bodies exist and be seen without judgement & vitriol.

it breaks your heart that while others were doing this work you spent twenty years perfecting starving and bullying yourself, trying to harden, trying to need less. but you can use what you’ve learned to help someone else feel ok in their body, to nourish instead of starve, to love instead of hate, to stay soft, to need as much as they need. you see the world changing and you’re sad that you missed so much of it but you’re grateful you get to help now.

 

and it’s still hard to find a great pair of jeans 😂

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