Dear negative body image,

I’m breaking up with you.

I’m breaking up with you in the esoteric sense, and not the actual physical sense, because I need you. My relationship with you is unhealthy in the way that I talk with you. I’m unloving and say unkind things to you; things I would never say to someone else.

At times, I hate you. You are spun with an amalgamation of societal pressures to be: thin yet muscular, dainty but hard core, cellulite-free, blemish-free, fat-free, tall but not too tall, and so many other disconnects of what an ideal woman should be.

I also want you to know, I judge you. Everytime you pass a mirror or catch a glimpse in a store window, I judge. I judge you for the extra slice of pizza you went for and the extra mile you didn’t run.

I try to punish you. When you don’t listen to what I want and what I need to look like, I punish you by going on some crazy cleanse, or hitting the gym excessively.

So, negative body image, it’s over. I’ve lost my way in the impervious perfection of it all, while being stone walled in regimented fitness and diet culture. I’ve began to wonder why as women we’re bred to put everything into aesthetics, when in fact, we’re much more multifaceted creatures. I’m tired, negative self body image, of hustling for my worthiness, so I’m ready to embrace and love my body. Right here. Right now.

It’s okay though, I do forgive you. In a society where boys are praised for being assertive, acting out, for their intelligence and gumption; we, on the other hand, are mostly and only praised for our beauty. Like “hey congratulations, you have a good face!”

How then, negative body image, can I shed you? How do I redefine and rewrite my body narrative? It’s true, being healthy is loving, just as nutrition and fitness play a valuable role in self-care. In the same vein, fashion and makeup are only a part of the picture that can be playful and a form of self-expression. But, my point here, negative self body image, is not to banish the part of me that enjoys these things, but to let you know and demonstrate that I am so much more; a capable, strong-willed woman whose purpose stretches far beyond the aesthetic exterior.

Negative self-body image, are you done yet? Are you sick of playing small and spending all your highly regarded resources on the in the name of fat loss and aesthetics?

We’re over, negative self body image. I’m tired of having to live up to your unrealistic expectations.

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