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.