What I need right now is a moment to be soft to myself, an act of self-preservation and self-care. What I need right now is to write a lil love letter to myself.
Have I told you lately that I love you? I’m actually singing this to you in my best Rod Stewart voice because I know it took almost my entire adult life to finally tell you that I love you back.
and i said to my body. softly. ‘i want to be your friend.’ it took a long breath. and replied ‘i have been waiting my whole life for this. ― Nayyirah Waheed
I actually read this quote on Instagram and started crying and Corrine looked at me like I’d fallen off my rocker. I don’t know why it took me so long to be kinder to you. Actually, yes I do.
I lived my teen years in the 90’s (sup 80’s babies) and we had Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford and others all over the media and they were all VERY beautiful… and VERY thin. I remember going to a modeling school in San Francisco when I was fourteen and we were told 1) that must we shave our legs from our ankles to our hips and 2) we were ‘supposed’ to have three triangles on our legs if we wanted to pursue anything other than print work.
A triangle to shape your thighs, a triangle to shape your knees, and a triangle to shape your calves. We all know what a triangle looks like so it seemed very odd to tell young adolescents that any part of their body look like a geometric shape. Even our heads aren’t perfectly circular! And by the way, a triangle seems inaccurate, did they mean an upside down triangle? Even so, I can’t compute. And while we’re here, I’m 4’10 and a half which means I was not pursuing anything other than print work anyway.
I want to also note that the desired waist measurement during my time at that school was 23 inches. TWENTY THREE. Ummm wuuut?! One, I haven’t had a thigh gap since I was four years old so there goes the triangle equation and two, the only 23 I can comprehend as being personally relatable to me is- that one time in life when I was 23 years old. Oh and this year on November 3rd, my daughter will turn 23. P.S. this is not me shaming those who have 23 inch waists, this is me saying you should never tell an insecure person (esp an insecure young person) that they must be a certain size to qualify.
So dear body of mine, I do understand why I wasn’t so nice to you. You were trying to protect me by holding onto vital fat so that I could grow, carry life, support my organs, and be healthy. It’s not your fault that I didn’t see girls with my body type represented on television until Jennifer Lopez on, In Living Color as a “Fly Girl”. P.S. do you remember that show? Helllloooo I’ve been trying to build a booty ever since. I know voluptuous and strong women were represented before 1990 but that’s the first time I can remember seeing a body that I related to.
The thing is, I’m Islander and that means I’m genetically engineered to climb coconut trees, run from brown tree snakes in Saipan (I hail from this island and you should Google the snake part, it’s gnarly), hula dance for hours, and build a bajillion island babies.. oh and the huts for them too. There is and always will be very soft yet strong (and some not so strong tbh) bits on my body. My arms and my legs have been described by ‘societal beauty standards’ to be “thick”. Who came up with that by the way. I mean, I’ll take it- thick is sturdy, thick is something to hold onto, and thick is reliable… if I take my phone into the bathroom with me and then I accidentally drop my phone… bet your ass my thick thighs will save the day. So I’ll try this again.
Dear body, I love you. I will tell you and show you more often how much I appreciate you. I am curvy, I am strong, I am fast, I am sturdy, I have stamina, and I have stretch marks. I love my body. All of it. Don’t even get me started on all the other things I love about myself. I’d actually love to write another love letter to the rest of my self. Like my brain.. whew she’s so big and brainy!
Please tell me something about yourself that you love. If you haven’t heard it lately, you are okay and everything will be okay <333