An Open Letter to the Body That's Loved Me Through My Hate

Dear Body,

I have tried for years to love you. For a while there, I wasn’t even really aware of you. I just existed; learning and experiencing life as it came my way. Then I began to notice what I was actually absorbing: the way other girls looked, the way boys looked at girls who looked nothing like me, what the media depicted as beautiful and desired. I resented you for not making me the short, skinny girl when it was cool. I hated you for being tall and chubby; for making me feel like I needed to dab the grease off my pizza on pizza day, or for giving others in my class the right to make comments behind my back that eventually all came to the surface. I think that’s when I started covering myself up in pictures and making sure I fell into the background of memories that may last forever. I really hated you for that for a while. It wasn’t until I was 14 that I had regained confidence and more self love, and it wasn’t even because I thought you looked better; it came from a boy. My first love, my first long term relationship. He was popular and sweet, and was known for only dating the pretty girls. He made me feel beautiful even when a girl in my gym class brought to my attention that I “wasn’t curvy, just fat.” He made me feel strong and wanted, until he didn’t anymore. And then after a long time I was just left with you. Left alone to deal with myself, and my self love, which didn’t exist anymore. At this point I was short and acne covered with a bit of belly. Jeans never fit me properly and I would never dare to even so much as dream to wear a crop top when they came into fashion. I was not the girl boys looked at and swooned over. I was not the girl other girls envied. I was not the girl who got hundreds of likes on her candid full body photos. This was all thanks to your poor metabolism and just how you were. At 19, I was forced to deal with you. I was forced to love you myself, even though all I wanted to do was hate you for not looking like the girl he left me for. It took me a couple of years, but I did it, and I want to finally thank you. Thank you for ten years of allowing me to be one of the best softball players on any team I have ever played for, and for healing every bruise and break like it never happened. For making me smart and confident in my beliefs and thoughts, so that I could go as far as to win scholarships and awards for leadership and academic success. For the ability to dance in high heels any way I want without falling over, and actually be good at it. For the drive to work two jobs and attend university full time, and still lead a very active social life because now I am accomplishing everything I could ever want as well as things I never thought I could. For the strength to tackle any obstacle I have ever faced and come out swinging, whether it was a boy breaking my heart, a family problem, a financial problem, or a problem with myself and you. There are days that I hate the way you look, and resent you for how that makes me feel, but thank you. You have given me the most incredible life so far and none of it has anything to do with what you look like on the outside, but what you have allowed me to do that has shaped who I am on the inside.

I may not be the girl that boys look at right away or swoon over, but I am the girl that challenges them and keeps them interested. I may not be the girl other girls envy, but I am the girl they can find a true friend in. I may not be the girl who gets hundreds of likes on her Instagram post, but I am the girl with an Instagram of adventures, experiences, and love. The person I am on the inside, my true self, is the person I am in love with and she is almost always shining from the inside out, and guess what? I now own so many crop tops, and I have too many jeans to count. I can’t say for sure that I am happy with you all the time, Body, but I can say that I love you and the person you have had a hand in creating. It took me two decades, but I can finally say thank you. I love you. Sincerely,

Me.

 

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