— camila (@Camila_Cabello) April 2, 2022
I love my body, but like most relationships in my life—it’s complicated.
There are days I wake up and proudly bear witness to my beauty. To the way my hips and my back curve in the mirror. To the newfound muscle definition in my arm. To the strength in my thighs. To the glow coming from beneath my skin.
And then there are the days I wake up and instantly choose criticism. I find myself wondering where those few extra curves came from (and why are they there, of all places). Or why something is sagging when it wasn’t yesterday. Or if that cookie I ate the night before is the reason my skin has decided to stage a revolt.
Our bodies are constantly changing—that’s just the nature of life. But our perception of those changes is also changing regularly—that’s just the nature of our minds.
There are going to be days when we feel powerful and beautiful, and there are also going to be days when we look in the mirror and don’t recognize or even like what we see staring back at us.
It’s heartachingly human, which is why I always appreciate when others, especially celebrities, open up about their body image issues and insecurities.
Singer Camila Cabello did just that this past weekend after an unfortunate run-in with the paparazzi on a beach in Miami. And what I appreciated most about her super vulnerable confession is that she didn’t try to sugarcoat the conversation or tie it all up with a self-love mantra or self-helpy message.
Instead, she spoke about the grief and confusion that comes from existing in a culture that refuses to let real women look like real women. A culture that promotes “body positivity” while also pushing us to not eat or breathe or pose or exist in a way that makes us look anything less than Instagram-worthy. A culture that encourages us to be “healthy” by skewing the very definition of the word.
I found myself nodding along with her message and connecting with her struggle, while simultaneously feeling sad and angry that so many of us have spent and will spend years working to fight through this cultural conditioning.
But the two lines that hit my heart the hardest were these:
“I wanted to talk about this because we see pictures of women and praise them for looking good, for looking fit or ‘healthy,’ but what is health if you are so fixated on what your body looks like that your mental health suffers and you can’t enjoy your life?”
“Ironically, all the therapy, all the inner work is to try and get back to feeling like 7 year old me on the beach. I’m mourning her today. Happy, silly, breathing, pretending to be a mermaid, FREE.”
Read Camila’s post in full:
View this post on Instagram
Here’s to all of us one day—or maybe just one day at a time—learning to find our mermaid again.