I wasn't happy this morning as I got dressed. I had been standing in front of the mirror, staring at myself. I did a little sideways turn to the left, then a twist to the right. Maybe it was just the shirt? I reached for a new one. And then another.
I ended up leaving in an oversized sweatshirt. All day I thought about those two beautiful, expensive - and not to mention fairly new - shirts which I had rudely flung to the floor in a fit of frustration. They had looked good on me not long ago, what had changed?
After lecture, while standing in the girl's bathroom, in front of my second mirror of the day, my resentment began to grow. Resentment towards my body.
Most of the time it seems as if nothing is ever good enough. I've heard people tell me that my fears are imagined; that I'm beautiful, that I don't need to fix my body. Their words are thrown down to me like a rope, but one that remains permanently too short to lift me from this pit.
I thought about it again, while I was holding my friend, whose body dysmorphia wouldn't let her see how she'd lost five pounds. She smeared that eyeliner which had been so meticulously applied, and I told her, "it's up to you."
I wished at that moment that both of us had ropes with slack enough to save the other. But it wouldn't work anyway. We have to climb out with our hands and feet, have to get dirt under the nails. We are the only ones who can pull ourselves out.
My head is filled with this shiny, commercially-induced version of beauty. It's caused me so much pain. I used to think that there wasn't any room left in my mind for a broader definition of beauty. But it exists. Somewhere behind all those artificial, crammed-in and wadded-up interpretations of beauty is a space for me. To accept my body. To embrace who I am. To love how I look. To re-evaluate what determines self-worth.
Everyone has a little bit of room for self-love, and our bodies deserve to be included in that extra space.