April 14, 2016

You’ll never guess what I found at the bottom of my jar of sugar body scrub!


I used a sugar scrub in the shower last night.
And somewhere between the sweetness and the grit,
I rediscovered my self-love and empowerment.

Dipping back into the scrub jar at intervals, I ran my hands over every inch of my calves, my thighs, my feet, my arms, my belly, chest, shoulders. I paid actual attention to my body. I mean I really noticed it; I pampered it.

And for someone who, like many others, spends more thoughts criticizing than complimenting my corporeal form, it was a shiny new sensation.

For the first time in a long time, I found myself appreciating my body—it had my full awareness.

The grit of the sugar as it rolled across my skin couldn’t help but entice my physical senses; it snatched them up and held them captive with each crunchy little grain. My palms traced over two-day stubble with no judgment, just acknowledgement. My fingers sank into the soft squish of my thighs and buttocks, also sans judgment and I felt the muscles taut underneath. My arms stretched, my waist twisted, my head tilted; joints bent and limbs flexed, sturdy legs holding me upright as my feet made innumerable twitches in compensation patterns to keep me that way.

I massaged my heels, my knees, my hips, the scent of almond and honey washing over me. I methodically scrubbed that sugary paste over every bit of me I could get to (the exception being, of course, that elusive little spot at the center of my back). Not only did I feel the muck of the day being sloughed away—but also the muck of a certain negative mentality. With my hands full of gritty sweetness, I was removed from the mental dialogue of “too fat, too thin, thigh gap, shaved legs, ghetto booty, perky tits, never good enough unless you’re air-brushed.”

Somehow I was transported into a state of gratitude for a body that did so much for me in every moment of every day—a body I took for granted.

Maybe I’m a size 8 petite with a soft belly and a smidge of extra padding everywhere else. Maybe I have stretch marks on my breasts and hips, and a crooked left toe. Maybe the grey hair is taking over and I’m barely 32. But by golly, I have four limbs that function beautifully, a face that could be called cute—and I’m healthy. My soft belly gets fed and my grey hair settles into a comfy pillow on a warm bed every night. My crooked toe aches, but my feet take me where I need to go. My heart beats heartily and my lungs inflate, all on their own. And even though I occasionally get sick—how many illnesses were fought off before they had a chance to bring me down? This body of mine: it is a miracle.

I used a sugar scrub in the shower last night.
And somewhere between the sweetness and the grit,
I rediscovered my self-love and empowerment.

Author: Justin Haley Phillips

Editor: Sarah Kolkka

Photo: Courtesy of the Author

Read 1 Comment and Reply

Read 1 comment and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Justin Haley Phillips