me: i would love for women to be able to go about their lives without multimillion dollar industries wearing down their self esteem to the point where they feel forced into altering their appearance on a daily basis
100 liberal feminists in unison: JUST REMEMBER THAT IT IS OK TO WEAR MAKEUP AND SHAVE AND THAT IF YOU WANT TO DO IT YOU SHOULD ROCK THAT FULL FACE OF MAKEUP AND NOBODY SHOULD MAKE YOU ASHAMED OF IT AND IT WON’T MAKE YOU LESS OF A FEMINIST AND IF THOSE HORRIBLE DYKEY FEMINISTS MAKE YOU AFRAID OF LIPSTICK THEN IT’S JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE JEALOUS
I love the idea of taking up space, ESPECIALLY if you’re a woman, a femme, fat, disabled, queer, Black, Indigenous, or at some other intersection of identity that the world tries to control and make small (or render completely invisible). Taking up space, for me, is complicated. It’s obvious to me that people are uncomfortable sitting beside me on planes or public transportation. It’s obvious to me that theatre seats and clothing and outdoor gear never EVER had my body in mind.
I used to feel like that meant I was the wrong one or the broken one. Now I’m starting to feel into a space where perhaps it’s not my body that is wrong, but instead the fact that people who create things and make things refuse to acknowledge the benign and very natural thing that is body diversity - we come in so many shapes and sizes and everyone KNOWS that. So to design something without making different options available is to make a choice that some people don’t matter, that some people don’t belong in this space.
Take up that space. Spread out. It might be scary. It might be terrifying - especially if you have to ask for a different seat or an extender. But the problem is not you. It is not you or your body.
When we expand instead of contract, we start opening to the possibilities that are our bodies and our minds and our talents. Expand. Open. Let us see you. The world needs that. It needs you.
Join more of this conversation at exploremoresummit.com. There are 14 amazing speakers talking about this very thing - for free and entirely online - starting Monday, December 4th. You deserve to be seen.
i sometimes frown at your reflection, or cry because of your shapes and curves but
you are strong. you have carried me throughout these past seventeen years and you have rarely failed me. through mountains, where climbing uphill feels like going down to hell and through oceans, where depth scares me to death, you have survived.
you are resilient. no matter how much hate or pain i put onto you, you resist and fight back. you have kept me alive, long after i told you not to.
you are not broken. no matter how many hands, wanted or unwanted, have touched your skin, they did not alter your worth. you are as much of a whole as you were, are and will be.
you are all i have. thank you for not giving up on me. i shouldn’t either.
i’m sorry for all i’ve made you endure. i promise i’ll take better care of you.
Building up your self-esteem takes time. Loving yourself takes time, and that’s okay. Go as fast or as slow as you need to, take baby steps, and be proud of the little accomplishments along the way. You’ll get there one day, I promise.