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Self Love As A Radical Act

I never really considered loving and accepting myself to be a radical act until I began to notice so many people doing and supporting the opposite notion. Everyone has something about themselves that they wish they could change but what if the only thing you had to change was the way you viewed yourself overall?

I used to have a female doctor who would literally point out every new stretch mark on my body as if i wasn't already doing that on my own. While laying on my back with my feet in stirrups, wearing that awful paper gown that scratches your tits, she would awkwardly trace her finger down the length of my belly and say really stupid things like, "Only pregnant women have stretch marks that deep." to which I would reply, through clenched teeth, "Well… I guess i've been pregnant since I was ten". I tried to laugh off the discomfort as I put my clothes back on only to realize that my lack of shame over the years continued to shock my body shaming doctor. With every visit, every new stretch mark and every pound gained, she was baffled by my unyielding confidence as if to say, people your size aren't deserving of such grace. Well bitch, I earned this grace and the likes of you can't take it from me!

How dare I fat peacefully in public in garments that hug every single curve? How dare I wait for your approval as if I haven't already given myself plenty of it over coffee this morning? Is it possible that I can love myself in a world whose standards and expectations of me are totally fucked? People claim to be progressive, encourage equality and celebrate difference but only as long as you aren't too fat or too black, too nappy, too fierce or too femme. My lot in life is not to make comfortable those who choose to go against my stride. If someone is threatened by the bravery behind my confidence, then my confidence has surely done it's job. I do not envy a woman who is half my size or smaller and a man who thinks i should is too small-minded to even be considered. Is it possible for a man to have his preferences without making it his duty to pass judgement on mine? Can I live? Can I breathe?

Have you ever heard someone say, men find women who don't wear makeup to be more attractive than women who pile it on? Those are the same people who turn around and ask if you're sick on the days that you leave home without concealer. I wonder if those people ever stop to think that the women and select men who choose to wear makeup give less than zero fucks about who finds them attractive. Granted, we aren't out here peacocking to please the trees but we're also not shelling out mad money on eyeliner and red lipstick wondering if basic boys and girls think highly of us. Going natural, meaning little to no makeup or hair maintenance is fine if thats your thing but can we all agree that there is nothing inherently unnatural about beauty regardless of it's expression? Can we just revel in the fact that it's okay to enjoy yourself as you are and where you are in life while leaving room for improvement but not obsessing over minor adjustments? We could all use a little tweaking, some folks more than others but it is far more beneficial to tweak and bend for yourself than it is to shrink or shift for the next hating ass bastard.

If loving yourself is wrong then look forward to a life of never being right in the eyes of those who shun you. Let the way you view and present yourself be a beacon of hope to someone who is struggling to keep their head up. It's astonishing how many opinions we tend to process before we bother to acknowledge our own. But when you've trained yourself to be your biggest supporter, the noise becomes faint in comparison to your ongoing parade of self love. So be radical and love hard.

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