My Body Has Been Hurt, But It Will Heal

To The Body That's Been Through A Lot, Let's Heal Together

You have gotten me through the worst; you have loved me when I didn't love you. You are home.

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Dear body,

Undoubtedly, you have been through a lot. You have been invaded multiple times, your wants being ignored. You have clenched up out of fear and been violated and scared. You have been treated like an object belonging to someone other than you.

You have been hurt by disordered eating behaviors. You have been fed too much and too little. You have lost yourself in these actions. You have been criticized and not appreciated for your true purpose: to allow me to live, to go see friends, to enjoy ice cream.

Overall, you have been mistreated. You have not been treated like a friend, and for all that you do, you deserve better. For these things, I am so sorry.

I want you to remember that you and I are autonomous beings. You are not anyone else's. You have a say over what happens to you, even when you feel powerless. You are so able and strong and you will be respected. You deserve that; it is (or should be) a right instead of a privilege. I read one time that skin cells live about two to three weeks, meaning the skin that was damaged and disrespected is long gone.

Thank you for all you've done despite what I have done to you. You work so hard to keep me alive and keep my body functioning at its best. You love me so much and I have not loved you back in the way you deserve.

To the mind that's inside the body, thank you for getting me through the worst. You have survived chemical imbalances and mental health challenges. You have found a way out of the dark every single time. You weren't alone in this — friends and family definitely helped — but ultimately, you had the choice, and you made the right one. You deserve credit, too. At the end of the day, you're what I have, you're what makes the final decision.

Here's to better days with you; here's to being your friend. Here's to going to Zumba classes because they're fun, not because I want you to work off calories. Here's to knowing I have the power to try to stand up for you as best I can when people try to take what's yours. Here's to your favorites, like bubble baths and a cup of fudge brownie with chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Here's to hugs and warm showers and whatever food you're craving. Here's to sleep and relaxation.

Engaging in these activities and behaviors won't be easy. It's hard for me to ignore the calculator in my head when I eat because it's been with me for so long. Beating revictimization and self-worth issues will take time. Body, you are constantly going places to do homework and get involved with the campus community and see friends, which doesn't leave much time for sleep in a short 24 hour day.

But I will try. When you're happy, so am I. I know that I won't regret making strides for my well-being. I know that I'm stronger than I used to be and that I'm trying to make up for what we've lost and to work on improving. This is not the beginning, nor is it the end. This is knowing that I can and deserve to heal. This is for us.

Like Mary Lambert sang in her song "Body Love": "Our bodies deserve more than to be war-torn and collateral... my body is home."

With all of the love and appreciation you've deserved for so long,

Ashley

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Sorry I'm A Size 00

But I'm not really sorry.
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My whole life I've been thin — which is kind of an understatement.

Every time I go to the doctor I get the same “you're underweight" lecture that I've heard every year since I was able to form memories. I've never really felt insecure about my weight, I love being able to eat everything and not gain a single pound. Since my freshman year of high school, I've probably only gained 8 pounds and I'm now a sophomore in college.

Of course, in school, there were rumors that I was anorexic or bulimic, but everyone who knew me knew that was far from the truth. I'm now 19, 5'2, and I still have yet to break 100 pounds on the scale. It seems that there is a lot of skinny shaming going around and to me, one of the main contributors to that is the Dove Real Beauty campaign.

You're probably wondering where I'm going with this because skinny girls get all the praise and other body types are neglected. That's really not true, though. While loving other body types, you are tearing down skinny girls. Why is it OK to do that to skinny girls but not to other body types? Why is it OK to say “only dogs like bones" or say “every body type is beautiful" until you see a model's abs, or ribs, or thigh gap and then tear them down because they're “unnaturally" skinny?

The point I'm trying to make is that, as a naturally skinny girl, I have never shamed anyone for their body type, yet I go every day and get at least two comments about my weight. I'm always the skinny girl, the toothpick, but I'm not Jessica.

Yeah, I'm a size 00. Get over it.

If you have an issue with my body and feel like my body is disgusting to you, don't look at it. I know that I'm healthy and I don't need your input when my body just naturally burns calories fast. I don't have an eating disorder and never have.

I am real beauty though, and I know that because I'm comfortable in my own skin.

So, maybe the real issue is that we as a society have been shoving certain body types down our daughters' throats so they begin to romanticize models that have certain standards that they have to meet, who work hard for the bodies that they have, and are making a hell of a lot more money than most of the people discussing why they look emaciated while what they're actually looking at is the photoshopped product.

I'm not going to apologize for being skinny when that is just how my body is, I can't help it.

Cover Image Credit: Victoria's Secret Untouched

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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