I wanted to apologize for the past 25 years. I took you for granted this whole time and I am finally starting to realize how beautiful and strong you are.
When people made fun of you and teased you, I didn’t stand up for you. I didn’t protect you and defend you. Other kids kept calling you “bony, skinny, scrawny, twig” and made horrible comments like “I bet if you turned to the side, you’d disappear” or “You’re so skinny you don’t even have a shadow.” Now, even as an adult, people still think it’s acceptable to make fun of you. They constantly comment about how you should eat more even though I have seen you eat more than any of your friends put together. They laugh it off and say your feelings shouldn’t be hurt because “everyone wants to be skinny anyway.” I should have fought back. I should have said something. But I was weak and I started believing that you were ugly. I started believing them. Every time I looked at you, I felt disgusted. I would imagine you curvier. With a bigger butt and larger breasts. With enough fat in your thighs for them to touch. With bigger arms so people would stop coming up to you and measuring with their hands how small your wrists were. I pictured a whole different person. You were no longer you.
But I have woken up. I know 25 years has gone by and that’s a long time. But it takes a while to unlearn negative thinking when that is the only thing you hear over and over again. I have seen how strong you are. You have done things that I never imagined you could do. You have fallen, bled, and gotten beaten up but you always get back up… stronger and faster. You have run half marathons, fought in a boxing match, completed a triathlon, and continue to surprise me every day during yoga. You can balance your entire body on your hands, for crying out loud! You are amazing. You are absolutely fantastic. And you are beautiful.
The people that bullied you all these years and the people who continue to make comments about your size are doing so out of their own insecurities. Pointing the light on you allows them for that split second to not think about why they really are saying those hurtful things. So don’t hide your legs when you want to wear shorts during the summer. Don’t wear a sweater because you’re afraid of people’s comments about your arms. Don’t slouch in pictures because you’re taller than your friends. You are beautiful. You are allowed to love yourself and be proud about it. You don’t need curves or big eyes for people to see how beautiful you are. You just are. Thank you for showing me that. Thank you for allowing me to accept myself as I am. Right now, in this moment, I am perfect. Perfectly imperfect.
Lydie is a yoga fanatic with an infectious personality. See her instagram: @simply_lydie for great yoga poses tutorials and goofiness that will make your day.
Isabelle Masado writes about body compassion on her blog "The Dear Body Project". She knows all too well that the personal is the political, is the community. As such, there is no discussing body compassion without talking about the assault on black bodies, trans women, and people with disabilities. Her mantra is, "How can I live in a way that makes room for you too"? She writes to examine, to heal, to redeem.