I dare you to make yourself seen – today
BY FREYA WEST
“I put my body on the front lines of public opinion every day. Some people are horrified by my lack of shame at my own skin, as if they also aren’t naked under their clothes. Some folks tell me my body is disgusting, as if hating yourself somehow makes you more worthy of love. Some folks cry to me that they wish they could enjoy their bodies like they see me do on stage. Some folks fetishize me and my curves, trying to carve out a piece of my flesh for their own.
Simply by being visible, and unashamed, I get visceral, molten reactions that span the spectrum from awe to disdain. And let’s be honest, my body is the diet coke of different. I am white. I am fat in a conventionally curvy way. I’m able bodied. I’m cis, and I’m femme. To still get such strong reactions lets me know I’m doing something that matters, coming up hard against internalized self loathing and indoctrinated ideas of what of bodies are worth. It’s powerful to stand in the face of public opinion and not be cowed. I dare you today to make yourself seen, and to take any opinions (good or ill) as a symbol of just how powerful you are”.
10 Body Positive Goals BY FREYA WEST:
- I will value how I feel over how I look. I promise to feed myself food that nourishes and delights me. I promise to move my body in ways that feel good instead of punishing it.
- I will make fitness goals that have nothing to do with appearance. Instead, I will focus on achievements like running my fastest mile, benching my heaviest weight, etc. I will honor my body and my mind with achievable goals based in love and intention.
- I will honor my body’s need to rest and relax, and encourage others to do the same.
- I will stop using false morality around food. Foods are not naughty or sinful, and my enjoyment need not be either. I will eat when I feel hungry, and I will feed my thighs well.
- I will remove numbers-based judgement from my life. Neither my dress size, weight, or measurements have anything to do with my self worth. I am worth so much more and I deserve so much better than that.
- I will find a wardrobe that makes me feel amazing. I will not fall into the consumerism trap of more is more, instead I will focus on finding my favorite outfits, and I will remove clothing that doesn’t fit or make me feel good. I will make my wardrobe work for me, and I will wear whatever the fuck I want.
- I will stay alert for fast fads and tricks. I will remember that every ad has professional lighting, makeup and hair and Photoshop. Not even super models look like super models most days. Even though I can’t stop advertising from happening to me, I can and will recognize that it’s not real or realistic.
- I will find a support system that builds me up. I am not an island, and I know that I need friends and they need me. I promise to make myself accountable to building up my friends and I will trust them to do the same. I also promise to share compliments that are unrelated to looks.
- I will point out body shaming and distance myself from it. I will hold myself and those around me to a higher standard of body talk. I will not allow others to talk negatively about their own bodies or anyone else’s. I will carry that attitude into my own self talk.
- I will not let my weight be a qualifier for starting something new. I will take that fun fitness class now, not “when I lose X pounds.” I will live my best life in my body as it is.