“I think we need to let go of this control.”

I think for a lot of woman we feel we need to take control of our bodies, that in order to be happy with how we look and feel we need to reign in each part of it and mould it into something we feel comfortable with. This is just insane because we are trying to mould ourselves into the same woman, the same figment of the media’s imagination and obviously it’s an impossible task. This attempt to control our bodies is destroying us, I don’t know one woman who honestly doesn’t wish in her heart of hearts she could just be thinner, or taller, or have that perfect hair. I think we need to let go of this control, just let go in general, but it’s so difficult when we have been coerced into feeling this way all our lives. I can’t see anything changing in the media, or in the population at large; let’s be honest, someone is making a lot of money out of our self-loathing. But, if just some women can change how they feel about their bodies then they can pass it down to their daughters and there will be some girls saved from this quagmire.

I can say that right now I am almost happy with my body, most of the time, well, some of the time. I have scars and hairs, all the things that make women hate themselves (and men feel proud). But I feel happy being naked, I’m comfortable changing in front of my friends – although sometimes their horror at glimpsing my naked body makes me wonder. I will sunbathe topless if I can when abroad, though sometimes I am a little uncomfortable around other naked people. I haven’t always been happy with myself, I remember lying in bed horrified by the realisation that I would probably have to diet for the rest of my life to be a normal size. I was completely wrong, and I learned that dieting didn’t make me thinner, just more miserable and inevitably led to comfort eating and yo-yoing weight. I don’t diet at all anymore, but I know so so many women whose lives revolve around it. I still look at pictures of gorgeous women and feel a twang of regret, why wasn’t I born looking like that? I still walk behind tall, statuesque women and hate them a little, and hate myself for feeling that way. But, I have come such a long way from looking in the mirror and hating what I saw, willing myself to be different, from clutching at towels to cover every inch of my naked body so no one would see even a bit of me. I feel freed from it, it is an amazing feeling to just let go of all that bitter pain and just be exactly who and what I am. I would love for the women around me to let go of it too, because they are beautiful and healthy and perfect.

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