I’m 34, and this is the first year I refuse to suck in my belly poolside.
There will be no applying of cellulite cream.
No black net thing over my body begging others to look away.
No cover up.
No towel wrapped in a way that accentuates all the right curves.
Mark my name off the mailing list.
The suggestion box is closed.
I don’t need a coupon.
I’ve seen a family bathing in a running creek in the Balinese hills,
A grandmother’s breasts floating out of the water
A young woman beside her, open-chested
Rounded belly glistening.
Shame had gone to live in the West
In some plastic surgeon’s office a world away
With patients lined around the block
Ready to be diced up
Carved into in order to fit numbers that don’t exist
Let there be digits beside my name
Let my cells be fluffy and full
I will not be ripped into by any person’s notion of beauty
I am not for sale.
You can have the Angel walking the runway
For the woman in the creek told me the Victorious Secret:
“You are woman.
You are the earth.
Rich. Hard. Soft.
Hot. Lush. Wild.
And this primal soil, this fertile dirt
Has never been any man’s.”
The No Trespassing sign stands
Where the For Sale one once did.
I now occupy every inch.
Author: Amy Wardana
Image: @nolatrees on Instagram; elephant journal archives
Editor: Callie Rushton
Supervising Editor: Danielle Beutell
Supervising Editor: Lieselle Davidson