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Dear Body,

It’s easy for me to blame society for shaming you, but the truth is I’m your harshest critic. I’ve spent countless hours pinching, poking and prodding you. I’ve called you names and insulted you, told others and myself that you were fat, ugly and gross. I told other girls they were beautiful and encouraged them to love their bodies, but I couldn’t do the same for you. I hid behind baggy clothes and an “I don’t care attitude.” The truth is I did care. I do care. I sucked in my stomach as much as I could any time I stood in front of a mirror or a camera. I’ve looked enviously at the “pretty girls” and cursed you for not looking like them. Body, it’s hard for me to say this, but I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I was so wrapped up in the size of my legs and the width of my thighs that I forgot how lucky I am that they allow me to walk and run. I neglected their strength and their power when I worried about how they looked when I sat down in a pair of jeans. I’m sorry I was so focused on the number on the scale that I blamed you rather than exercising or eating healthy to feel better. Body, the resentment has to stop. We are in this together and we have to learn to get along.

It’s time I stop responding to compliments with personal critiques. It’s time to focus on what I can do rather than dwelling on what I’m not. It won’t be easy. There will be times when I’ll stumble and fall. When I’ll sigh with dissatisfaction. There will be days when I’d rather hide from the world. It’s going to be ok though because we make a pretty good team, and with a little more self-love we can do anything. 

 

*Image credit: That ARThletic Girl http://arthlete.tumblr.com/tagged/arthlete

 

Jessica is a Campus Correspondent for Her Campus at VCU, a Chapter Advisor and a retired Campus Expansion Assistant. She will graduate in May 2017, earning Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies. Her core areas of study include photography, journalism and media studies. In addition to school and her work with Her Campus, Jessica works at her university library as an information associate.
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