Writing and illustrations by Miranda Millen
A letter about bodies from a woman who has one:
We all just want to feel good about our bodies, I am certain of this. I am also certain that we don’t want to go to the gym to feel good. We don’t want to foundation our legs to feel good. We don’t want to take a bowl of laxatives and go on some fish bone diet to feel good. We just want to feel good as we are.
But in a world of thigh gaps and Photoshopping magic, it can be beyond hard to love something about yourself that you simply hate. When I find myself in a spiral of body hatred, I try asking this fundamental question: “How can I change the way I think about you, in order to love you?”
This question requires a great deal of compassion, creativity, and a good sense of humour. The answer isn’t always obvious, and sometimes you need to BS a bit (or a lot) to get there. But just like a long history of Tinder dates, heavy handed compliments, and fake smiles could win you the love of your life.
For me, my body image issues always were surrounded by my stomach. Over time I have changed how I think about, what I now refer to as, ‘my sausage roll’ (legitimately looks like one). Now I see it as something I inherited, from the strongest women in my family, something that they all have, no matter what their size. Something I was born with, and have no memory of ever not having.
I’ve accepted the fact that no matter how slender I ever become my sausage roll will always be there. Now, I see it as a comfort and a source of identity. Reminding me of who I am and where I’m from.
I still have my roll. Every morning I look down at it, and every night I feel it slant to one side as I fall asleep. Sometimes I whisper to it, and tell it that I love it and never want it to leave. It wasn’t love at first sight, but I’m glad that I gave it a chance. After all, any self-loathing only creates more self-loathing.
So please, lean down to the part of your body you think was a direct descendant of satan, and ask it, “how can we be friends?”. Treat it like your favourite date if you were on The Bachelorette, tell it what you liked about it, give it a rose, and let it know it can stay in the game for another week. Because your body exists to love you, and all it wants to hear is that you love it too.