Those of us who are socialised as women are taught to hate our bodies more or less from the day we’re born. If you think I’m wrong, consider that someone thought this onesie for a baby girl was a good idea. Consider that pretty much every Disney movie ever holds up “pretty” (for the value of “pretty” that equates to thin, white, young, able bodied and virginal) as the most important thing a girl can be. Consider that 40% of 10-and-11-year-old girls think they need to lose weight.
Make no mistake: self-loathing and body hatred is heaped upon us from infancy. Is there any wonder that so many of us make it to adulthood with a totally fucked up relationship with food, exercise, our bodies and our looks?
This stuff is so completely internalised and normalised that for most of us, becoming aware of it and then beginning to undo it is probably going to be a lifelong journey. We cannot love ourselves and cast off all our worries overnight. What we can do, though? What we can do, though, is stop apologising.
I will not apologise for my weight.
Spoiler for those who haven’t met me: I don’t weigh 90lb. A year and a half ago, I weighed double that number. I’ve since lost ~30lb, but that’s not what matters. I was an awesome badass with many great qualities then, and I am an awesome badass with many great qualities now.
Humans come in many shapes and sizes, and the idea that skinnier is automatically better is a great pile of steaming bullshit.
“Sorry, I used to be thinner and I’m trying to get back there” will never again fall out of my mouth when I take my clothes off in front of a lover.
I will not apologise for my scars.
My scars are part of me. They tell a story, and the ending of that story is fuck you, I survived.
If you ask nicely, I might tell you the stories behind each one. If you ask really nicely, I might even let you touch them. But don’t tell me they’re ugly, don’t pity me, don’t tell me I’d be so much prettier if only my skin were unblemished. I’m scarred because I’ve lived. Deal with it.
I will not apologise for my body hair.
If I had a pound for every person who has told me body hair is disgusting… well, I could probably quit my job and just write about sex on the internet for the rest of my life. Real talk time: body hair is natural. The notion that one must remove it all in order to be beautiful is entirely socially constructed. The idea that women must be hairless originated with razor companies trying to branch out into new markets. It’s literally the epitome of “convince us there’s something wrong with us, then sell us the cure.”
Never again will I sheepishly ask a sexual partner if they’re willing to overlook my natural hair and fuck me anyway. Never again will I apologise when someone asks me to shave it off and I tell them no.
I’m fucking beautiful and if my natural body bothers you, well… that seems like a you problem.
I will not apologise for my physical limitations.
I’m not an exercise-bunny and I’m not particularly physically strong. I have come to accept these things about myself. My body does most of the things I want it to do, most of the time.
I’ll take walks with you, but if you want a chick to scale mountains with? I’m not your girl. I’ll jog for the bus if I have to, but if you want a partner in marathons? Not me.
Similarly, my body has certain needs now, including the ones it didn’t have when I was younger. I won’t apologise for needing to sleep and no longer being able to run on fumes. I won’t apologise for needing you to maybe not fuck me as deep as you possibly can. That shit hurts. I am entitled to not be in pain.
I will not apologise for the ways my body experiences pleasure.
I’ve probably apologised thousands of times to lovers for how hard it can be to get me off, or for the fact that my body doesn’t always perform pleasure in the most reliable and/or visually appealing and/or ego-stroking manner.
I’m not going to fake an orgasm when you ineptly go down on me for three minutes. I’m not going to apologise when I still don’t come when you go down on me expertly for half an hour. I’ll tell you what I like and don’t like, and I’ll react in a way that feels authentic. But I’m not going to apologise if it doesn’t work in the way you think it should.
I’m done apologising for my body. My body carries me through the world and gives me – and the people who are lucky enough to share in it – astonishing pleasure. My body fucking rocks.