When my sister expressed concern over what people would think of her weight, I wrote her a letter. This response is for all my sisters too.
Your weight does not measure health, nor how much of a caring mother you are, nor how funny you are, nor how you are a great friend and sister, patient wife….. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re one of the most beautiful people I know. You are as beautiful now as when you were fire-trained fit!!!
We have been trained since birth to think of ourselves as women who must look pleasing to the male sexual gaze. To think that that is where our value lies. And we have done our best to live up to those expectations. We apply makeup liberally, we convince ourselves that we are not pretty without it. We feel confident when we put it on, are slim, and with the ‘right’ clothing and jewelry adorned, we can be sexy. That mindset has been fed to you. Directly sometimes, subliminally at all times, that it results in….becoming yours too. So now we feel pleasure and confident when we fit this mould. We feel wanted, we think we belong.
The antithesis to this, is learning how to deconstruct these ingrained thinking patterns. Understanding you did well learning what you were taught, but that lesson is not fair. It’s not fair that you feel ashamed of your body and worry about what your teacher would think. Your teacher was wrong because it is not serving your best interests, it only serves the violent and toxic patriarchy. Pull those thoughts away from inside. Watch them float away like clouds in the breeze. Invite your wisdom to become clear because the emotions were clouding it be justified. You are a person. Not an object to be used. You are valuable because of who you are. You have this caring yet funny personality. I laugh the most when I am around you. You stand up for what you think is right for all, not just one. You are brave and opinionated, yet open to learn and grow. You make mistakes, and you own them. You are meant to be human, not a perfect machine.
So, let those toxic thoughts fly away and replace them with acceptance. You don’t even need to love yourself if you can learn to reserve judgment. I have many rolls on my body right now, it doesn’t make me any less beautiful. It makes it harder to move. I don’t feel so healthy with the junk I’ve been eating. That doesn’t mean I am bad or less acceptable. We are doing the best we can, with what we have got, at this moment in time.