Ever since I was little my mother told me that my body was a temple but it's always felt like a battlefield. My mind and my body go back and forth attacking each other in this war that I cannot win. I feel my mistakes etched into my thighs and my losses tallied on my wrists. I learned to count calories before I could count and I learned how to step on a scale before a jungle gym. I watched my mother and her diets more than I watched Sesame Street and I swallowed my pride more than I swallowed food. In my house, fat was always a dirty word. It meant squeezing into jeans that didn't fit and punishing yourself instead of buying new ones. It meant crying on the bathroom floor because I thought my worth could be measured by a number. It meant never eating in public because a stranger’s gaze felt like knives into my back and I preferred my pain self inflicted. Fat meant kids on the playground taunting the “developed” girl, fat meant my mother policing what I ate, fat meant never being good enough. I never knew the meaning of “body posi”. To me “body posi” meant skinny girls with blonde hair and blues eyes asking for someone to acknowledge their beauty even though the media enforced that concept on a daily basis. My dark hair and brown eyes were a mark of failure and my tan skin screamed “fea”. I mistook my thick body hair for an invasive species and destroyed any evidence of its presence. Every cell in my body is working to keep me alive but every thought in my head is working against it. I carved poetry into my skin that only I could read but somehow it made me feel alive when I wished I was dead. My self worth always stemmed from the words of others. I would flirt with boys just so they would say I was pretty, just so I could feel wanted. I never felt wanted. I let their words coil itself around the girl I was pretending to be. That girl was skinny. That girl actually liked boys. That girl was #bodyposi, that girl died a long time ago. I killed her with a bottle of painkillers in one hand and determination in the other. I awoke with saline in my veins and a new realization. I realized that the curves of my body emulate vast mountain ranges that many wish to climb, I realized that scales are man made but my beauty is nothing but a work of nature. I learned these things from exploring the deepest depths of myself, even though from a young age I was taught that no one would love me unless I was skinny. This world was made for small bodies, and I just take up too much damn space so it was time for me to create my own galaxy. A place where thick thighs and brown eyes were seen as divine qualities and every body was made to be loved. My body was made to be loved. So next time I post a picture of myself, I will caption it #bodyposi and mean it. l.j.i.


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