This one is for the woman who is heavier than ‘they’ think she should be.
For the girl who starves herself thin.
For the woman who passes on dessert, eats a too-small portion or is ‘fine’ with just a salad.
For the lady who looks accusingly at her own self in the department-store mirror.
Who longs for thinner, tighter, smaller, rounder, flatter, stronger.
This is for the girl who absorbs her mother’s words, the words that prioritize calories, diets and dress sizes over acceptance, intelligence and self-love.
This is for the teenager who thinks that airbrushed versions of life are real—worse yet, normal.
This is for the boy who sees his body as weak, gross or ugly.
This is for the man who feels shame for never being man-enough.
This is for the child who doesn’t know what to feel, because labels like ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ or ‘gay’ or ‘straight’ don’t seem to apply to them.
This is for the child who hides his love of painted nails, princesses and sparkles.
This is for the parent who must brave the harsh weathers of society as they try to convince their little ones they are beautiful no matter what.
This is for the schoolchild who believes that being esteemed as ‘popular’ equates to having value as a person.
This is for me, who—even three decades in—can’t shake those ancient misconceptions of her own exquisite beauty…
And this is (most certainly, from my heart to yours) for you.
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Editor: Bryonie Wise