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An Existential Guide to Accepting Your Body

You have an insecurity about your body. I have an insecurity about my body. We all have insecurities.

7.4 billion people on this planet, 7.4 billion insecurities. And think about it, that’s just one insecurity each.

People, on average, probably have at least 3 main insecurities. In America and many economically similar countries, capitalism has tricked us into thinking the way we look is wrong. So many people I know, myself included, worry about the size of our thighs, the thickness of our arm hair, the puffiness of our lips, the flatness of our stomachs. Equally worse, we have been tricked into thinking that this matter is incredibly pressing.

But guess what else we have looming over our heads? Most of space is still unexplored. The doomsday clock just ticked closer to midnight. No one is entirely sure what’s at the bottom of the ocean. Here is my existential guide to accepting your body because there is so much going on in the world — no, the universe — that make our petty insecurities seem really, really small.

The universe is big. Like, unfathomably big. Galaxies! Black holes! On Earth, we’re all just specks. Tiny beings just chilling in a much larger universe. And we’re worried about what we look like? How cool is it to just be alive right now?

Source: Giphy

Now, let’s look inwards. What do Lin Manuel-Miranda’s Hamilton and Shakespeare’s Hamlet have in common? They’re worried about their legacies, which, as Miranda/Hamilton puts it, is like “planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”

Life is short. And while you may not be aimed at permanently engraining your name in history like Hamilton, your life is meaningful to those around you. You will be remembered for the joy your brought people, the lives you changed, and the world you impacted. Cleopatra, Rosa Parks, and Malala Yousafzai are all badass females who changed the world. They are remembered for their courage, their intelligence, and their morality.

Like these ladies, you will do great things, no matter what body you’re in. You won’t be remembered for your physical attributes. It is time to stop worrying about pleasing the smalls minds of people who are too superficial to think big — you’re too good for them, anyway.

Source: tumblr.com

All of this isn’t to say that you should just get over your insecurities. It’s human to have insecurities. But we need to work on not letting them get in our way. Wear what you feel comfortable in. Put on as little or as much makeup as you want to. Don’t shave if you don’t feel like it. Eat as many sweets as you desire. Relish in the fact that you are a small yet important component of something much larger at play.  

The world is huge, and the universe is bigger. You are here because you are meant to be. You are beautiful because you exist.

Gretchen is a fourth year UC Davis student double majoring in political science and cinema & digital media. As an intersectional feminist, she finds interest in issues of social justice and equality. She also finds interest in dogs, Leonardo DiCaprio movies, and early 2000s music.
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