Destroy Yourself

“And, what’s more, this ‘precious’ body, the very same that is hooted and honked at, demeaned both in daily life as well as in every existing form of media, harrassed, molested, raped, and, if all that wasn’t enough, is forever poked and prodded and weighed and constantly wrong for eating too much, eating too little, a million details which all point to the solitary girl, to EVERY solitary girl, and say: Destroy yourself.”
Emilie Autumn, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls

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I look at this image of myself. I was thin. Too thin. Some arms are naturally that tiny. Mine are not.  I was damaged. I was obsessed. I was 10 weeks pregnant. I was not healthy. But everyone told me how amazing I looked. Little did they know that I was destroying myself.

Destroy Yourself.

That’s what the world would have us do.

Starve until we are thin enough, then mock us for the jutting appearance of our bones.

Eat until we have all the right curves, but then become disgusted with the curves that are still in all the wrong places.

Run ourselves ragged at the gym, running miles and miles to escape our own self-hatred and hopefully in the process escape all of those extra calories.

Guilt with each bite.

Desire with each moment of restraint.

Make up to cover up our blemishes and faults.

Surgeries and procedures to create a Frankenstein that is congruent with our culture.

Clothes that are meant to fit a child forced upon women who have children of their own.

Damning stretch marks as if they’re the plague.

Demanding perfection from breasts that have given life and nourishment to another soul.

Destroy Yourself.

That’s what we’ve been taught from an early age.

That’s what I was taught by my culture; from the tiny, impossible waists of the Disney Princesses and Barbie dolls. From the women in my mother’s aerobic videos. That’s what I was taught from the stares of all the boys around me.

I was not anorexic. I was not bulimic. But I still had an eating disorder. Maybe I still do. Maybe many of us do. Food was not my friend. It was my enemy. I woke fearing it. I went to bed fearing it. I woke desiring it. I went to bed desiring it.

Food was my greatest foe. And my most cherished friend.

My body was my temple. And I worshipped it.

I lived in fear of that extra pound. I lived in agony over that extra calorie. I was not healthy. I was not sane. But man, did I look good.

But at what cost? The aspiration for perfection, for a beauty that is envied….is it worth a life long torture of our mind, body and soul?

I can tell you it is not. Freedom is not found in a size 0.

I can tell you that it is found in the size that you are naturally supposed to be.

Do I still struggle with this seemingly never-ending battle against my desire to attain perfection?

Yes.

Will I always?

Perhaps.

But every new day, it gets easier. Every new day, I love myself more, embracing and admiring my own imperfections.

As David Foster Wallace so beautifully said,

“Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you.”

 

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