A Letter to My Body

A Letter to My Body

Or a letter to anyone who feels bad about their own.
22
views
"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me."

Well that’s some absolute bullshit. If words were sticks and thoughts were stones, my body would be the victim beaten to a pulp from a hate crime. I bet that most people can relate.

In this day and age, words have such an impact on people’s mental health and body image that it causes eating disorders and many mental health issues. The scariest part is that all of the mental effects from words, social media, and body image are becoming more and more common, so much that “…approximately eight million people in the U.S. have anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and related eating disorders” (The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders).

Even though we know that the "body goals" we see today are mostly photoshopped, we still compare ourselves to an excruciatingly detailed level; we can’t seem to help it. We pick apart every single feature of someone, set it up in a harsh comparison to our own bodies and then feel upset and shamed when we don’t have any or some of the features that someone else has because our bodies are surprise, different.

To whoever’s reading this, I’m sure you’ve heard all of what I just said before. Of course you know that almost everything is photoshopped, that we have a sick need to squint at ourselves in the mirror and snarl “you’re not good enough.” And of course, you know that yes, a lot of things surrounding body image today is negative and it needs to stop. And obviously it’s not going to happen with one article or overnight. It’s little steps that need to be taken, one of the first and most important being to apologize to your body; thank it for being strong enough to take what you do and say and still carry you through life. Because without our bodies we would look like this…

And that's horrifying.

So without further ado, here’s a letter to my body.

Dear body,

Let’s start with a long over-due and much needed apology. I am sorry. I am sorry for everything I’ve said to you; none of it has been positive. I’m sorry for every time I’ve denied you food, and I’m sorry for every time I poked, prodded, cut, and scratched at you, telling you that you’re ugly, fat, jiggly, and too big.

I’m sorry to my thighs for despising the way you jiggle when I walk and drive, for hating how you’re riddled with cellulite and how you have no gap between. For groaning every time you chafe when I wear shorts, and for all the days I wear leggings in 90 degree weather because I’m ashamed of what you look like, I apologize. You’ve literally carried me through life. You’ve given me the ability to be the equestrian I am today, and you have given me the strength to run, jump, and play.

I’m sorry for my chest for berating you constantly about how you’re small, how I compare you to every single girl I see and how I’ve let the societal idea that small chests are embarrassing take hold and twist a completely acceptable and normal body trait into my most hated feature. Honestly thank god for your size because if you were any different I’d have more back issues than I have now and I’d get hit in the face every time I rode a horse.

I’m sorry to my hips for every day I look in the mirror and pinch you, immediately following it with a disgusted look. For every time I hike up my pants to cover you from creating an unsightly lump in my figure, and for all the times I stood in the mirror squishing you back to see if I’d be prettier with slimmer hips… you help me dance (even though it might not be good), you help me feel sexy by swaying, and you let me hip check my friends when we’re walking side by side (they go flying and it’s hysterical).

To my stomach, I am especially sorry. You’ve taken most of the beatings. So I am incredibly sorry for every minute that I suck you in so hard I feel like my ribs are going to crack and for the pops that actually have happened. For each time I pull my pants up over you to attempt to keep you contained, and for loathing the way you collapse into rolls when I sit. For standing for hours in front of the mirror, staring, cursing and crying at you, for changing outfits over six times because even though to someone else you look perfectly fine, in my eyes I just see shame and a curve that is considered the height of undesirable in society, I’m sorry. I feel awful for every time I try to hide you, hugging a pillow each time I’m sitting down or placing my purse on my lap to cover you up; you’re normal, strong and you’re not undesirable.

To my face, I am also especially sorry. You’re the thing I spend the most time critiquing and fixing because you’re the one thing I can really change. I’m sorry for every time I’ve made myself late because I felt the need to put on makeup to make you look better because for some strange reason a black line across my eyelid is my rite of passage to walk out the door. I’m sorry for every hour I spend one inch from the mirror cross eyed trying to pluck and pick you into being better and prettier. For every time I’ve covered you in eye makeup because makeup is the one thing that gives me confidence to go out, and for every time I stare at you with anger and disappointment after I take my makeup off because how the hell can I look like that? Thank God I’m one of the only people that has to witness my bare face. For every product I buy in hopes it’ll make you look actually semi-acceptable (even though you’re much more than that), for every type of concealer I’ve used to try and cover up blemishes, I’m sorry. For every time I’ve said I hate how you’re splashed with freckles and moles and how I consider them honestly hideous, how my smile is crooked on the right side, for the roundness of you and for the double chin you have. You’ve given me the ability to show my emotions with your unique way of being very expressive and you’ve allowed me to see, hear, taste and smell.

Body, I’m sorry for constantly comparing you to other people’s, for wishing and praying that you’d look different than how you are, and for berating you so much that you’ve felt nothing but darkness. I regret the scars you hold, the anger you’ve felt, and the frustration that shook you. So, body, thank you for staying strong through all of it. Every insult, every ounce of hate, disgust, anger, sadness, shame, disappointment and judgement I’ve thrown at you, thank you for staying strong. I’m ready to start loving and appreciating you.

-Amy

I think Tina Fey said it perfectly; “Every girl is expected to have caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a 10 year old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. This is why everyone is struggling” (Tina Fey). We’ve been conditioned to believe that we’re only attractive if we have the perfect body or with whatever traits are considered hot in today’s society. It's time to celebrate body variety. We can't change what we've been given, but it's time to realize that what we have is beautiful. Every person is fighting their own battles. Each person is different and therefore lovely; every curve, mark, scar, lump, freckle and bone is beautiful, and I hope whoever's reading this believes that just a bit more.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Popular Right Now

5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
277707
views

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Complicated Love-Hate Relationship I Have With My Body

We all have times where we look in the mirror and either love or hate what we see.

102
views

People are always saying how you should love yourself just the way you are. You should embrace yourself and feel beautiful in your own skin. There are times that I do. Times where I step up and say this is me, this is who I am. However, there are also times where I look at myself and say, this is not me, this is not who I want to be.

I've always had a love-hate relationship with my body. I go days where I feel good about myself and love who I am no matter what. Then I go days where I hate everything I see and want to hide away from everyone. I just can't seem to find a middle ground.

Sure you can make plans to change yourself, but even then, I feel like you'll always see a flaw. My body has changed from time to time, but no matter what, I always find something to hate. I just can't seem to find the confidence in myself to accept who I am. I wish that I could.

I wish I was someone who could love who they are.

I try my hardest to respect my body. I've told myself that I'll work hard to keep it healthy. I made a promise that once my current spine injury has healed that I'll work harder to get where I want to be. To work hard towards loving myself more often than hating myself.

It's a dangerous mindset to have, the hate sometimes consuming you. I also struggle with bipolar disorder, so when I'm in a depressive phase and hating my body things get dark. I feel disgusting and I just wish I could tear pieces of my body away.

You turn away from mirrors, you try to wear clothes that hide the things you don't like, sometimes when you catch an angle of yourself that's particularly bad you just stand there staring, hating it all.

Then you walk with your shoulders back and your head held high. You wear clothes that make you feel cute and you don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You love yourself and decide to be happy.

This constant yo-yo of a relationship is exhausting.

The hardest for me is looking at pictures growing up. Looking back on the way my body changed and trying to pinpoint where things went wrong. Seeing a picture and thinking, 'look how good I look there.' It doesn't even matter if it's a happy memory. If my picture captured a really good moment. All I can focus on is what I look like.

My fear is that these thoughts will never change. I can learn new tricks to help me stay positive. Learn new ways to love myself. Even if I change things, that there truly will always be something I don't like. It hurts to look at yourself in a mirror and only see something gross staring back at you.

To not see yourself, to only see everything you don't like. It makes you want to crawl into your skin. You don't want anyone to see you in fear that they might see the same thing.

When the confidence comes I savor everything moment I have of it. I take pictures, I like to go out, I live my life as a happy me. I try to hold on to that love I have. To remind myself that I am OK. That I can love myself, but that it's also OK to not like some things. I don't have to find every piece of me perfect because no one is perfect. We all have flaws, it's just about learning to accept those flaws as a piece of who we are.

I know that this love-hate relationship will always be there, but I will always be there to try and fight it. I will work hard towards finding that confidence inside myself and let it shine. We all deserve to see the beauty we have, that no matter how bad seems, there are parts of us that are beautiful.

Related Content

Facebook Comments