11 Jun The History of a Body
You cannot know the history of a body unless you look deeper, and get to know the person the body belongs to.
See that person who is now firmly plus-size? She was once a straight size who dieted her way up the scale. Because those diets broke her metabolism, taught her body she was starving and when she got off the diet rollercoaster once and for all, her body clung to every single morsel.
The person who gets called “tiny,” whose body is “perfect” and not a “mom bod” to her Instagram commenters—she was ridiculed for years for being too skinny, worries because when she is pregnant the swell of her little belly is questioned, constantly.
The person who eats dessert every night? She denied herself sugar for 5 years, had so much shame around eating sweets that now, that nightly treat is part of her self-care.
The fit one, the one who works out until they go into labor—under the workout tank is loose skin, rippled with stretch marks from the babies cradled there.
The one with big breasts, the one you envy, has chronic back pain and bra shopping is simply impossible.
That person whose arms are perfectly toned can only quiet her mind when lifting, lifting, lifting heavy weights.
The person who looks perfectly average, who chases her toddler around the park, had four losses before this precious fifth baby was born.
I believe it is a dangerous thing to assume we know anything, really, about someone based on the shape and size of their body. We all carry histories within us, lifetimes that have shaped and sculpted our bodies into how they are right in this moment.
Can we allow each of us, each of our bodies, to just be as they are? For some, a sculpted and toned body is how and who they need to be. Some people carry weight proudly, or protectively. Some have bodies that our culture deems ideal, yet they struggle with this concept.
Having a baby, feeding a newborn, chasing a toddler, raising a child…these things change our bodies. We all expand, deflate, reshape, shift, sag. Our body holds stories that only we can tell.
May we proudly tell the tales of our bodies.