You are beautiful but only if you’re neat.
without these traits you will not fit in.
Your body should be modest, cover up your flesh!
But, oh, not too much. How will men know which is best?
Your body should be slim.
Thick thighs, with a gap.
But nothing else should be ‘thick‘ because who on Earth would want that?
‘Strong is the new skinny’, we’re being tricked yet again!
Your body should be muscular,
But people won’t like you ‘strong’.
A 6 pack? Non negotiable, having rolls is just plain wrong.
Your body should be perfect,
Everyone the same.
Don’t break these sacred rules, because we’ll know who to blame.
But what if, just for one day, we tell ourselves,
A woman is more than just her body.
Maybe then, I’ll start to believe that MY body is here to take up space.
It is not to be starved.
Reduced to a meaningless ‘type’.
I would realise that it is not a thigh g a p, a collar bone nor the tautness of my skin pressed against my bones.
I will unlearn that the negative space between my thighs amounts to so much more than me.
Or that the squishy parts of my skin are of less value than my muscle.
What if, for a day or two I saw my body without hatred or disgust?
With rolls that curve like mountains,
Thighs which ripple like the waves,
Crevasses and shadows which match the towering trees.
My body is a landscape, one that is thoroughly alive.
A living piece of art work, one that no one else can buy.
From childhood, to adolescent, up to my adult years.
My body has survived it all through all the love, the loss
and the tears.
My body is a map, a map of experiences if you will and it’s carried me through it all.
No longer being stuck into this mould.
My body deserves to take up space,
And. So. Does. Yours.