A love letter to my belly…
Dude. I love you so, so much.
I love how you remind me of my sister and my mother and my mothers mother, all possessing the same swell of flesh perched on the edge of our waistbands.
And can I just say, I am obsessed with how you move and shift and roll and sway when I laugh, when I dance, when sit, when I surf, when I have sex.
You have stayed put, through every diet and intense exercise regime, through all the loathing in my younger years, through all the times I grabbed you in fistfuls and wished you didn’t exist, pressed a palm flat against you as I stood in front of a mirror, turning this way and that… and I love you for it.
I love that while the world of social media and movies and advertisements were telling me you shouldn’t exist if I wanted to be desirable, you stayed put, reminding me to be defiant, to not budge to fit any sort of warped ideal.
I am grateful, daily, with the ways in which remind me that perfection does not exist. And nor should I want it to for me, for my life, for my relationships.
I am crazy about the way you slope and roll, like the women in renaissance artworks. Curved and soft and sexual.
I love that you are actually good for me (it’s called estrogen regulation mate, look it up.)
I like that every time I see a ‘lose belly fat fast!’ ad you’re like ‘lol, not happening’ and we laugh and continue eating our cheesy tacos with reckless abandon.
A remembering, a homecoming.
You know that small white scar? Right beneath our belly button? From that emergency surgery appendix removal surgery you had to have at fourteen years old? I love how that scar reminds me how all our friends came and visited us in hospital and drank my orange juice and laughed so loud until the nurse politely asked them to leave, and how my mum slept beside us in a rickety hospital bed. How after a morning of intense, scary pain, we were reminded to appreciate a body that functions. A body that does its thing without effort or conscious thought.
Sweet belly, I love how you remind me of every amazing meal I have shared with the humans in my life. From family christmas dinners cooked by my grandmother to every cheap beer I have drank on the beach with the locals in Central America, surrounded by people made of fire-hot molten soul.
I love how you have the ability to swell and stretch and create another HUMAN, if we wanna do that one day. This is so important, because it reminds me that if womenkind have the ability to create OTHER FREAKING HUMAN PEOPLE, we can create whatever the f else we want to exist on the planet. I love how we have done so much work together these past years, that the other day, in an unguarded moment, I said to someone ‘I literally do not have the time or inclination to judge, criticize, or in any way police my body anymore,’ and I meant it.
Thank you for reminding me that nobody owns any part of my body, but me, nobody has a say in what I do with it, but me. And anyone who thinks they do are unwelcome to take up any real estate in my life.
They will try tell you something is fundamentally wrong with you. They will slap buildings, screens and the sides of buses with an image of everything you are not, brainwash you into wanting it, and then try sell it back to you.
They will try sell you beauty, though you’ve been so f-ing beautiful all along.
This is how they keep us small, and drained, and preoccupied. This is how they keep us worrying about wether we’re desirable to others, rather than worrying about wether we are desirable to ourselves, and if we are cultivating admirable traits in ourselves. It’s how they keep us focused on how our body looks, rather than what it can do.
It’s how they make us unconsciously feel we aren’t enough to take up space in the world.
Because we are. We are so enough. We are game changers, trailblazers, adventuresses, creatrixes, athletes and revolutionaries. If we claim our full power, we will turn the entire world as we know it on it’s head… and that terrifies them.
Will you let them? Or will you defiantly love every inch of yourself with a radical passion, so that our daughters, nieces and students will know nothing but iron-clad self acceptance?
Imagine the possibilities in a world like that?
What part of your body do you need to write a love letter to?
Feature image: Khrystyana