Sunday, November 24, 2013

How to love your body

Look at your body.

See how your eyes catch the light.

Take off all your clothes, and observe its curves, its edges, the little dimples where secrets hide. Look at the ripples and folds of your skin, realize that you look like the ocean.

Realize that you look like a meadow too, see how the hair on your skin sways at the kiss of a breeze, or stands on end like little stems about to bloom flowers when your hand brushes his.

While you're at it, discover the constellations on your body hiding in the indistinct pattern of your moles and freckles. Map them out, imagine lines connecting them like you do when you look up at a starlit sky.

Count your stretchmarks. Notice how the purple ones look like vines, a reminder that you are a part of everything. See how the silver ones are like galaxies swirling across the skin of your hips, a tribute to the stars that your body is made of.

More importantly, remember that your body is more than what it looks like.

Think of the distances your feet have walked, the sights your eyes have seen. Notice how even the most beautiful photos can never compare to the images that your eyes behold.

Think of how your body is a channel: your ears receive conversations, secrets; your lips receive kisses. Notice how your body conforms so well to an embrace.

Think of what your body can do. Observe the way it doesn't give up.

It may not be able to deadlift a loaded barbell, but it can carry a bursting backpack, the weight of your survival in a foreign place.

It may not be able to win marathons, but it can walk until the end of a 10-km run.

When you are lost, your body goes on until you find your way again, even when your legs are sore, even when your feet are blistered.

When you're following a river into a forest you are unfamiliar with and your fearful mind tells you to turn back, your body ignores it, hopping from rock to rock until you reach the waterfall.

When you're up all night downing vodka on an empty stomach, your body still manages to make it to the home the morning after, even when you can feel your muscles very nearly drained of energy.

In fact, your body is very forgiving of abuse: sleepless nights, cigarettes, double shots of Bacardi 151, bacon for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Now, think of how you should put a little more of the good stuff in than the bad.

Pay attention to how your body feels.

When he smiles at you at exactly the right time so that his crinkled eyes are lit up by the sunshine coming in from the windows, notice how a tickle originates in your stomach and climbs up the back of your neck.

Enjoy it.

When he kisses you, notice how your nerves start to burn slowly, neurons shooting out so that they are like fireworks under your skin.

Enjoy it.

Love your body, because it looks like the universe. Love it even more because it's more than what it looks like.

After all, when you are kissed, you do not remember if your teeth were white enough, or if your stomach looked gigantic, you do not care about how the hair on your arms looked when they stood on end at the press of his lips against yours.

You only remember how it feels, that tingle in your skin, the slow burn that begins at the point of contact, eats up your heart, your lungs, spreads out to the very tips of your hair, turning your body into something like the sun, of which the earth is only a mere satellite.


  1. this is beautiful. :) thank you for writing this.

  2. Hi Mandy, this is well written. You are lovely. :)