Dear Body: Can I have a word?

When I think of the term “body image” or even “body positivity,” the first thing that comes to mind is bullying. From getting picked on in the schoolyard as a kid to the society expectations on our bodies as adults, our body image is too easily shaped by these forms of bullying.

And soon enough, you start to adopt that bullying yourself. As an adult, I like to think I fully comprehend the meaning of body positivity. After all, it seems explicit enough: love your body. Yet there is still a struggle to embrace that love, and to accept my body as it is.

Most days, I would say that I feel pretty good in my own skin. But I still have those days when I can’t stand my entire self—the way my body is shaped, the way my hair is… the way I look.

I’ve learned, though, that my relationship with my body can be beautiful, the same way it has been painful. So, I’ve chosen to shift my idea of “body” to something that I can’t hate. When I think of body positivity, I don’t want to use the word body anymore. If I could pick another word for “body,” I’d like to pick “home.”

Home is a place where you feel safe, and where you can connect with who you truly are, flaws and all. It’s a place where you are far from judgement; others’ and your own. It’s a place you decorate because it’s a reflection of your taste, infused with your personality. It’s a window you use to show people a piece of who you are in a way that words cannot express.
And the great thing about a home is that you choose who gets to come in.

This is how I want to see body positivity. It’s about feeling safe in your own skin, where it’s okay to be confident about your imperfections. So this bikini season—and really, for all other seasons—I hope you’ll feel at home in your home.

This article was first published on Hello Sunshine.

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