The musings and misadventures of a girl unprepared

Sunday, 2 February 2014

A Love Letter

My dearest Body,
No love is perfect I suppose, I’d be lying if I suggested otherwise. On a bad day, I often obsess over the imperfections of our relationship. Skinny legs, scrawny arms and boobs that are so big they have their own gravitational pull. As I get dressed I suck it in, cover up and repress my true feelings under layers of men’s clothing as the school yard chants of ‘fat slut’ dance around my consciousness. I allow myself to be consumed by the voices that claim that I’m too ugly to ever be loved by anyone, even myself, wishing- no, praying to God to just fix these insecurities, so I would no longer have to be alone or ever inflict my hideous form on anyone else.

I want to apologise for those days I have been ashamed to take you out; those days when I look at you and wish for something else. We've been through so much together, our fates purposely intertwined from birth, to walk this earth for one reason or another. We've made it our mission to love limitlessly, to care for all, even those which others deem unworthy. Yet somehow, we've lost sight of what makes our love so special, that we too, are also worthy of this unconditional love. Over the years we've allowed the media to dictate the way our relationship should be and let society pick holes in our intimacy in a way our younger selves would have found unfathomable.

When I reevaluate our flaws through childlike eyes, a much more beautiful image begins to emerge and even those aspects of you I often scrutinise aren't without their charm – combine those legs and that ass with a pencil skirt and I can’t deny you look pretty fine, not forgetting the unquestionable usefulness of your ‘assets’ when fighting for a drink at the bar. You have always been there for me, through the scars of youthful misadventures to the piercings and tattoos of exploratory adulthood, carrying all with such grace and poise as if they've always belonged. Above all, those eyes, the window that connects me to you, will ever remain unrivalled and unchanged by the years. Together, we have become women, blossomed and developed in our gorgeous imperfections, forever here to support one another. That’s where your true beauty lies.

Love always, Your Soul

This is a piece I wrote for a competition to win a Pin-Up Girl photo shoot with a company called Shameless Photography. They announce the finalists in a few days, but winning isn't really my motive behind entering; I just loved the idea of having to write a love letter to my body. This isn't due to some self-indulgent, I-want-to-make-myself-feel-good motive, but because to I wanted to see if I could actually do it.

I've recently decided to dedicate the next six months or so of my life to building my character, working on my insecurities and becoming more of the person that I was created to be. Basically, I'm going to actively pursue and embrace my singledom, so I can concentrate my efforts into becoming the kind of person I'd want to date and not only that, but also the kind of person who could really bring out the best in my significant other. Just to clarify, I'm not completely consumed by the desire to get a boy/girlfriend. Actually it's the complete opposite. I'm terrified of the thought, due to a string of failed pursuits and being messed about over the past two years by people I would consider as good friends. I've allowed myself to repeatedly end up in situations where my self-esteem is beaten down, to the point where I found it difficult to love myself, let alone let anyone else in.

Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My god, do you learn.
— C. S. Lewis

In the last few months my life and my perspective of myself have been totally changed around, and time and time again I've had to confront the 'demons' I've essentially created for myself through countless stupid decisions I've made. I can't say I regret any of them, because I've learned a lot and did, amongst all the crap, have some good experiences too. If you've been reading this blog over the past few months you'll have noticed my slight obsession with exploring identity and what makes me, me, as I feel that I managed to lose a lot of myself on what I originally thought was a journey of self discovery. How does that saying go? 'You have to lose yourself to find yourself', or something along those lines? It appears I've become a walking cliché.

If you hadn't guessed, my most recent challenge has been to love myself. I've been working on my relationship with my soul/personality/essence/whatever you want to call it for some time now, but when I saw the advert for this competition, I was reminded of how there's more to me than just the immaterial. My body, although temporary, is still a vital part to my being and my relationship to it is something that needs some serious healing. I think there's a real importance in loving the skin you're in, feeling sexy and confident that there is nothing wrong with the body that you have been blessed with. There's a huge difference between being narcissistic or vain and having a healthy relationship with your body. Pretty isn't gained by hours at the gym or self-inflicted starvation. What makes you beautiful is how comfortable you are within yourself. So dress in what makes you feel good, respect yourself and give your body the love and care it deserves. Write yourself a love letter if you fancy, because you deserve it. 

At a recent art exhibition I attended I saw a piece that explored those common human traits deemed 'flaws' by society - black heads, acne, unwanted facial hair and the like. In the description next to her work the photographer had written 'there is no body more perfect than the one you are in right now'. 

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