It’s My Body, Don't Control Us

Dear Parents:

You may have birthed me, you may not have. However, my body is mine. What I do to my body is up to me. How I take care of myself is my choice. What you say to me to change my habits might ruin my self-image forever.

I understand that, when we’re young, we’re not really sure what to do. How do I shave my legs or facial hair? How do I take care of my acne? How do I maintain a healthy weight? When we go through puberty, it’s alright to share your tips and tricks – after all, you are the adult. You have the experience, unlike 12-year-old Jane Doe over here. The problem comes from how these tips are given to us. 

Don’t shame me for having acne at the age of 11. I can’t control that. God, Fate, or whatever you believe in thought it would be a grand old time to bless my body with puberty at the age of 10. I’m new to all of this, and also extremely lazy. So when I roll my eyes at the nth time you tell me to wash my face, I’m not rejecting your advice. I’m sick of hearing how awful my skin looks.

I don’t want to be told that my face looks like raw hamburger, I’ll never get a boyfriend because of it, or people will find it weird that I don’t shave my legs. I want to be told that this is how puberty works, my acne won’t stabilize until I’m in college, and I should do what I want with my body cuz it’s mine. You can’t control what’s mine, but you still try to anyways.

You tell me that I can’t get a single tattoo because of my future profession. You make it sound like I will get kicked out of the house if I even speak of getting one. And you know, now I live in fear. Do I risk the relationship with you to have one? We’ll see in the future.

What’s even more annoying is that I’m now 21 and you still ask me why my acne isn’t clear. Jeez, I don’t know, maybe I’m stressed out and haven’t had time to do a skin routine, or maybe my hormones are imbalanced. I can’t control my body. I can only control what my responses are to what it wants to do.

To all my fellow friends out there who were told growing up that their body isn’t perfect – it’s your body. Do what you want with it, not what anyone else thinks. You’re beautiful, and your decisions are respected.

And to the parents out there – stop shaming us for what we do with our bodies. They’re ours for a reason.