There are days I wake up with golden beams of light streaming out from between my legs like the coming of the dawn. I am Goddess. I am pleasure. I am Venus hanging out in a clam shell. I am a Renaissance painting, with my seductive soft edges strewn across a fainting sofa, creating a dramatic silhouette of unspeakable glories.
“I dare you to resist me, mortals,”
I announce to no one in particular as I lift my head for the bunch of grapes that should surely be hanging above my lips that very moment. My body is a juicy, juicy peach that is positively overripe with sensuality and my curves are intoxicating. I hold endless power in my womb and the world is my playground for my strength and curiosity. I look at myself and see cups of wine, dripping honey, floral garlands, mossy earth and absolute transcendence. I have a GOOD body. My walk is an irresistible dance… my hips sway like delicate branches in the wind and the roots of my sex simmer in exotic spices.
But this isn’t every day.
And no matter how many times I draw a heart with lipstick around my reflection on the mirror, no matter how many times I start my day with an affirmation of “I am a beautiful magickal creature,” I still won't have juicy days every day. Some days, I just won't get there.
On those days, I wake up inside this prison called a body. Every movement is torturous. Every thought is heavy. I can accomplish nothing. My skin is crawling and I would give anything to break out through the top of my head and escape this ugly fleshy burden. I look at myself and see abuse, eating disorders, pain and crippling fear. I have a BAD body. My spirit is restless and I cannot stand another moment trapped inside this dense mask that hides my soul. No one sees me. No one knows me. This is crushing. This hurts.
We have been taught to weigh the worth of our physical bodies on a scale that has only two options: good or bad. If our body falls on the good side, we are made to believe that we have value, we have everything. If our body falls on the bad side, we are made to believe that we do not have value, we have nothing. We have been conditioned to swing wildly between these extremes based on fleeting emotions or comments from others.
And while most of us now know this is bullshit, we still operate from the binary thinking of being "good" or "bad." We changed and expanded the definition of "good" and what that includes, so we can all be a part of it. This is body positivity.
But how many days have I demonized my body in my efforts to shove it all into the "good" category? How many scars, folds, and marks have I cast aside as unwanted, as undesired, when I couldn't shift them into this expanded definition of "good" so easily? How many times have I hunched over, clenching my fists against my chest, willing my body to shrink and compact and disappear against the mirage of beauty that I couldn't force upon myself? How many times have I pushed my body away, disconnected from it, refused to claim it on account of its “bad”ness? How many times have I consciously connected with my body, how many times have I consciously CLAIMED my body, only when I was feeling juicy? Only when it was praised? Only when I was feeling like it was doing “good” things?
No more. I cannot live in this dissonance, employing my self-abandonment whenever things get tough, whenever I can no longer pretend my feelings are all in the "good" category. Sometimes, the pressure to be body positive all the time is too much.
When we say to our friends, "Ugh, I'm feeling so ugly today," the typical response is, "No, don't say that! You're beautiful!"
But why do I have to be beautiful? Why can't we acknowledge our real gritty feelings on ugliness as they arise? Why can't we guide one another into the root of our feelings, discovering that it's never really about being beautiful in the first place? Why does our body have to be one thing or another at all times?
I just want to have my body. I just want to live and love and work and travel and just fucking have a body. Can I just have my body?
This is not just about body positivity or body acceptance.
This is about self-ownership.
I am not ugly. I am not beautiful.
I am beautiful. I am ugly.
I'm everything. I have to be everything. I have to claim it all, all of the "good"ness and the "bad"ness, until it all becomes one large picture of existence that simply IS and is neither one nor the other. Chugging a superfood green smoothie doesn't make my body good, as much as indulging in pizza and ice cream doesn't make it bad. Feeling insecure in bed doesn't make my body bad, as much as feeling like an irresistible sex kitten doesn't makes it good. In every single case, it is still my body, and it still deserves to be recognized and loved without being rewarded or punished.
I know I will have lots of feelings about my body as I embrace my wholeness. It won't be easy, but I will claim them all and break this incriminating pattern of reward vs. punishment. I'm going to have really easy days, and that's cool. I'm going to have really hard days, and that's cool too.
When my body feels ugly, I will claim it as mine.
When my body feels irresistible, I will claim it as mine.
When my body feels broken, I will claim it as mine.
When my body feels unstoppable, I will claim it as mine.
This is MY body. Every day. I own it. I am responsible for it. I make decisions for it. I will not abandon it anymore. It is neither bad nor good, and yet, it is both. And everything in between. Every day, I will claim my body and claim myself. Every day, I will be aware that my relationship with my body is just that: a relationship. An ever-evolving rollercoaster of ups and downs that requires patience, unconditional love, and constant work.
Only by claiming my body in its entirety, can I connect with it. Only by claiming myself in my entirety, can I find liberation from the subtle oppressive forces that attempt to split me into pieces on a daily basis.
Sometimes liberation is “Fuuuuuuuuck!” screamed at the top of your lungs, on the top of a mountain, your naked tits shaking like thunder at midnight, and watching your divine rage move the tops of the trees below.
Sometimes liberation is a soft sigh settling into the body, in a warm quiet corner of a dark night, after a long day of exhaustive grief and self-punishment.
And I choose to claim it all.
This is MY body. This body is MINE.
[[[as a reminder, in case there is any confusion, here is a running list of who my body does NOT belong to. And as my body does not belong to them, they can neither claim ownership of it, nor can I willingly give them ownership of it.
- men that I know
- men that I don't know
- my parents
- my husband
- my past lovers
- my employers
- clothing companies
- women that I know
- women that I don’t know
- teachers (of any kind)
- beauty companies ]]]