This I Believe
5 July 2005
Believing in All Bodies
I believe that my head is not “shaped as if it was smashed between two books,” but rather that it is simply narrow. I believe that my bare, lipstick-free lips do not cause me to look as if I am “dead”. In fact, my lips are gifts; I inherited the top one from my dark lipped Grandpa Sam, and the bottom one from my pink-lipped Grandma May.
I believe that my hair has no “kitchen” or any other room of the house, but rather that my hair is made up of very small, very cute curls that curl even smaller and tighter at the nape of my neck.
I believe in all bodies.
I believe in noses. Noses long and pointy and noses wide and flat. I believe that noses are made for smelling and that the longer, wider ones have an advantage.
I believe in wrinkles. Wrinkles rolling like dunes, raked like Zen gardens cascading down legs boldly clad in shorts.
I believe in fingernails. Polish-free. With cuticles.
And too, I believe in breasts. All of them. Although I feel particularly sentimental about those that rest just above bellies that cushioned nursing babies.
I believe in scars. Scars formed on legs that were warned to walk but that were decidedly stubborn and disobedient and instead ran. I believe in scars that are crooked, slanted, long, stretched, and those that smile outside of brave wombs.
I believe in pop-bellies that are unafraid to exhale and that reach out and welcome pants that welcome them.
I believe in beauty. That natural and unapologetic beauty that is your face and mine, your body and mine. Beauty not dictated, beauty undistorted, and beauty undefined. Beauty that is imperfectly perfect and without design.
I believe in teeth. Teeth chipped on a desk from laughing too hard. Braces-free teeth gapped in the front, teeth that require no floss.
And you know, I believe in eyes. Eyes round like moons and eyes squinty like slits in pistachio nuts.
My belief is not profound. It is just the opposite, but no less crucially important. This I believe: I believe that I should not be afraid of, ashamed of, or angry at my body, but stand tall in it. I will not allow others to make me feel afraid of, ashamed of, or angry at my body. I will remember to remind them, for they probably need reminding the most, that they too are beautiful. My body is in many ways the map of my life. It carries my stories and tells them without need of words.
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