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Dear Body,

Where do I begin?

Life has always been a struggle with you. You are seemingly ordinary, but never perfection in my eyes; always wondering what could be, not what you already have. Too skinny, too fat, never the right curves, always different from the others.

But that is where I misunderstood. That is where I took you for granted. That is where I lost respect for you. Because I wanted something else, something normal, something that wasn’t you.

I wish that I was good enough. For him, for her, for me. For those judgmental stares and half glances in my direction, like I wasn’t important enough to be noticed. Like I wasn’t pretty enough. Like I was the last choice for someone to care enough to acknowledge.

So, I chose to pick you apart, flaw by flaw.

I give you the cold shoulder when you don’t measure up to the latest fashion trend, your thighs too wide to fit in jeans like those girls on Instagram did. Your waist not small enough to catch the eye of that guy you liked at the coffee shop. Starving you in the hopes that maybe, maybe you’ll be skinny enough soon to start dating again.

I would lie awake at night and still do sometimes, crying and wondering why I was given such a terrible fate. Would I ever be loved like this? When will the pain of knowing I’m stuck with this body forever ever end? Why aren’t those never-ending diets and hours at the gym fixing you? Why am I even trying?

Depression and loneliness set in, and suddenly, I’m drowning in self-doubt and hatred for you. Hatred.

People say it’s a strong word that should only be used when you passionately and inescapably dislike something. And still, I hurl insults like this at you almost daily, ignoring how much you give me. Hoping you might just magically fix what’s broken inside and out.

But I know it’s my heart that is broken, not you.

There are parts of you I used to hate, but I am learning to love. To cherish. To be amazed at the work of art you are. To respect how you don’t give up on me or crumble at my hatred towards you. You are indestructible, a vision like no other but mine.

And I am so sorry for what I have put you through.

You deserve nothing but admiration and appreciation. So, now I won’t hide behind a set of baggy clothes to hide that tummy I so despise. I will wear those shorts I’ve kept stashed in my drawer for months without fear of my stretch marks showing. I will throw back my head in laughter, not afraid the person next to me is judging my crooked nose or that baby face I’ve wanted to change so many times.

Your differences are not imperfections, but the very things that make you mine. You’ve carried me well. Through pain and suffering, happiness and joy, in the brightest of days and darkest of nights. And I am so grateful for all of you. Your scars do not make up who you are, but what you have overcome. You are nothing but extraordinary. And to that, I love you just as you are.

Always and forever,

Me

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HCFSU EWM Major 2024
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