All of these parts of myself coexist in my body, a representation of evolution and migration and truth. My body carries within its frame beauty and agony, certainty and murkiness, loathing and love. And I’ve learned to accept it, as is. For so much of my life, I wished into the dark to be someone else, some elusive ideal that represented possibility and contentment. I was steadily reaching in the dark across a chasm that separated who I was and who I thought I should be. Somewhere along the way, I grew weary of grasping at possible selves, just out of reach. So I put my arms down and wrapped them around me.
—Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More (Pg. 258)
(via Molten Soul)
You’ve got to have someone who loves your body. Who doesn’t define you, but sees you. Who loves what [they] see. Who you don’t have to struggle to be good enough for.
—Deb Caletti, The Secret Life of Prince Charming
I don’t know how to express how grateful I am to JJ for being this person for me. We’ve been together for almost three years and I’ve never heard him say a negative thing about my body. On the contrary, he seems to genuinely celebrate/relish in parts of me I typically try to minimize. One of the many reasons I love him.
In order to keep me available to myself, and able to concentrate my energies upon the challenges of those worlds through which I move, I must consider what my body means to me. I must also separate those external demands about how I look and feel to others, from what I really want for my own body, and how I feel to my selves.
We all run from the ugly. And the farther we run from it, the more we stigmatize it and the more power we give beauty. Our communities are obsessed with being beautiful and gorgeous and hot. What would it mean if we were ugly? What would it mean if we didn’t run from our own ugliness or each other’s? How do we take the sting out of “ugly?” What would it mean to acknowledge our ugliness for all it has given us, how it has shaped our brilliance and taught us about how we never want to make anyone else feel? What would it take for us to be able to risk being ugly, in whatever that means for us. What would happen if we stopped apologizing for our ugly, stopped being ashamed of it? What if we let go of being beautiful, stopped chasing “pretty,” stopped sucking in and shrinking and spending enormous amounts of money and time on things that don’t make us magnificent?”
(via Learning everyday…)
Me, at work: *stomach area feels kind of weird *
Me: *goes to bathroom *
Me: *wipes *
Me: *sees blood on tissue *
Me: WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING?! AM I DYING?! *repeats emotions of first period in 4th grade *
Me: …Wait a minute. This is normal. This is a normal thing that happened to me monthly for upwards of 15 years. This stomachache is probably cramps.
Me: *digs around in desk until she finds a pad *
Me: *takes extra strength Tylenol *
Me, at home: *feels unbearably tired, passes out waiting for chicken to defrost to cook dinner *
Me: *reallllllllllllllllllllllllllly fucking hopes this isn’t gonna become a thing again *
GO HOME, MENSTRUAL CYCLE. NOBODY MISSED YOU.
Women are taught to see their bodies in parts and to evaluate each part separately. Breasts, feet, hips, waistline, neck, eyes, nose, complexion, hair, and so on—each in turn is submitted to an anxious, fretful almost despairing scrutiny.
—Susan Sontag, Woman’s Beauty: Put-Down or Power Source
We deserve to have an outlet and experience that affirms we experience pleasure. Each of us, no matter what our bodies look like, the color of our skin, how our genitals look, we are all capable of pleasure, and many times it’s not even something our genitals need to be a part of!
You’ll find a space, a much needed space, to fill when you focus on the pleasure of POC. We are already coping with our own healing and safety topics. Some of us choose to do that healing and coping by focusing on pleasure and happiness. This is amazing and we each deserve to have that decision honored and treated with respect and integrity.
I think honesty is the deepest level of intimacy. It’s not so hard to share your body but sharing your soul and your private thoughts with someone else makes you about as vulnerable as you can really be. I don’t want to be lied to about things I should know. I don’t want half truths or hidden truths by omission. I truly want to know my partner’s thoughts, feelings, and desires. If a partner were to keep that from me I would feel disconnected and untrusted.
In this cult of female martyrdom, where caring for our own well being is always last on our to-do list, it is easy to feel selfish when we do care for ourselves. But being kind to yourself, banishing negative body-talk, taking necessary time away from work, feeding your body with food that makes it happy, taking a morning for spiritual growth, doing one activity you enjoy just because you enjoy it—these things are not selfish! For so long, women have been socialized around the idea of “guilty pleasures”. Female pleasure–whether it is related to sex, food, or even an activity–must be categorized into “good” and “bad” categories. We are taught to feel “guilty” for “indulging,” but often these indulgences are normal, healthy expressions of desire. Common guilty pleasures include: food seen as “bad,” like cake, French fries, or chocolate; reading an erotic romance novel; skipping the gym to watch Netflix in bed; taking a bubble bath to decompress rather than tackling your mountain of homework. These guilty pleasures are fairly normal activities. For women, things that we enjoy doing are labeled “indulgence,” and we chastise ourselves for being “bad” if we do them. Indulgence sounds dirty, but most of our “guilty pleasure indulgences” are simply acts self-care. Self-care is not bad. Self-care is not selfish. Our lives do not have to follow the script of obedience.
—Brenna McCaffrey, On The Radical Act Of Self-Care, Feminspire.com
(via because i am a woman)