To the woman in the grocery store who tried to publicly shame me because of the scrapes and bruises on my legs, claiming that I would never find a man who would love me looking like a “punching bag.”
To the person who views their body as the entirety of their worth, rather than a vessel that can help them achieve greater things, who holds the belief that a scrape or a bruise that was acquired through following a passion some how diminishes the total value of your existence:
My worth is not dictated by the love of another, and that love is not dictated by the careful and narcissistic preservation of my exterior.
I take pride in my appearance, I take care of my body inside and out, I take care of my heart and my soul and my brain. I groom, I meditate and I read. But I don’t keep myself in a glass case, in order to avoid sustaining superficial damage, for the fear that I will be less lovable or desired.
I am not a prize that needs to be well preserved.
I am a passionate and driven human being who occasionally incurs some superficial damage.
The idea that someone would desire me less because of the damage done to my physical body is not only ludicrous but offensive. Passion is desirable, drive is desirable, dedication is desirable. However, being desirable is not why I do what I do. I do it for me, because I love it and because it makes me happy.
To those people who view their appearance as their entire worth:
There is so much more to life that doesn’t fade away with time. There is so much love and joy and adventure that will stick with you when your skin wrinkles and your body changes. Live your life to your standards and do what makes you happy, and if that means your perfect, “desirable” exterior gets scuffed along the way—who the f*ck cares!
Author: Clair Marie
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Author’s Own by Wendy Smith