This is about my body.
This is about everyone’s body.
Every line and curve of all the bodies you have seen.
Every cellulite dimple, every milky-smooth inch.
All of the hip bones, the ones exposed by the tight, toned skin,
and the ones hidden, even buried, under layers of fat.
This is dedicated to my décolletage, and the freckles and moles sitting atop it. And yours too.
This is for your smooth skin, tightly wound like a drum.
It is also for my stretch marks.
It is for every one of my silvered stretch marks that I strive so hard to correct with creams, scrubs, even makeup.
The ones I thought ruined my appearance, the ones I still struggle with. This is for them.
This is for the beautiful color of your skin.
For the scars you may or may not have.
For the love handles.
For the exposed rib cages.
For the flat butts,
for the saggy butts,
for the fatty butts,
for the dimply butts,
for the black butts,
for the white butts,
for the bubble butts,
for the smooth butts,
for the hairy butts.
For the skinny girls with large, heavy breasts.
For the fat girls with small breasts.
For the girls who strap them down.
For the girls who push them up.
For the boy who has a pair too.
This ode is dedicated to trans bodies.
This is for the boy who straps his breasts down.
That same one who cries every month because of the blood that he can’t make go away.
This is for the girl who can’t help but be muscular.
Who desperately wants breasts.
Who wants to wear tight, feminine clothes.
The boys and the girls recovering from surgeries to create the bodies they wished they had been born with.
This is for those out there with breast implants.
For those who have suffered accidents.
Those born looking inherently different.
Those whose bodies can’t do everything they want them to do.
This is for those suffering from eating disorders.
This is for those who have been accused of faking disorders for attention.
This is for the fat girl told that she doesn’t look sick.
Because if she was eating disordered, she would be thin and pretty, right?
This is for the skinny girl who has anorexia but gets compliments all day.
Even asked for dieting tips and praised.
This is for the girl with bulimia reaching out and asking for help,
Who is told that there are more serious problems than hers.
And this is for the boys with eating disorders.
It happens to them, too.
This is for the fat girl who loved her body.
Then she became sick.
The pounds dripped off as she worsened.
She felt weak.
She missed her body.
And all people could do was congratulate her for the weight loss.
Tell her how good she looked.
All she wanted was her old body back.
She thought she was beautiful before. Did they not?
Was she supposed to be grateful for her disease,
The disease stealing her strength,
The disease stealing what she enjoyed in life
Because it made her thin?
Was that all that mattered?
Was that the only way to be attractive?
This is for the fat girls
Who gag when someone says,
“Your body is great! Don’t you know boys like a big booty?
Don’t you know they like the jiggle? Boys like
Your body is better than a bag of bones.”
I don’t give a rat’s ass.
My self-worth is not determined by whether boys want to bed me or not.
And the junk in my trunk doesn’t make me any more real
Than the trans girl
Or the girl with exposed ribs.
This is for the girls who don’t gag.
The ones who think that this is okay.
It isn’t okay.
But you’ve been conditioned to believe
Body shaming is okay.
Boys determining your worth is okay.
It isn’t okay.
It is not okay.
I beg that you see why it is wrong.
Sometimes I even pray,
That you get to feel good about yourself.
That you try and make others feel the same.
This is for me now.
This is for a younger me.
This is for an older me.
This is for you.
This is for us.
This is for our bodies.
This is for our minds.
This is for our future romantic interests
Who better damn well treat us right.
This is to remind us that we are beautiful.
And to screw everyone who dares to say otherwise.
Screw their hate.
Screw their ridiculous need to put you down.
Your body, frankly, is bangin’.
You are fierce.
You deserve to feel good about yourself.
You deserve to think you look amazing.
That’s not being stuck up or snooty.
And you are so much more than just a sweet body.
This ode is for those who couldn’t care less about
What they look like.
Because you are just as worthy.
Go get ’em.
Give ’em hell.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.