This isn’t a radical idea, but it seems so. Just hear me out. After having my appearance commented on a few times in the last few weeks, I felt it was necessary to bring attention to this topic on Instagram. It is one thing to think something, and it is another to say something. After my Instagram story I recieved so many messages from other women–over 150 and counting, actually. And while I appreciate all the encouragement and support, something has stuck out to me. So many of you have struggled with the influx of what is shown to be normal / expected and what feels perfectly normal and ordinary in your own lives and bodies. The comments range from, “We all are intentionally and wonderfully made.” to “Preach!” and “THANK YOU SO MUCH, I NEEDED THIS TODAY.” and a woman saying it took her 71 years to get where I am now. I am just blown away.
Here’s what I said on my stories for context:
I stand with my pelvis out, naturally–likely because of my big butt.
this is a leather dress belted on top of my mid-section, so of course it’ll push out.
looking back, idk.
but also, whether it has been my teeth or my body, I’ve been discussed in a pretty mean or fleshy-y manner so much lately, and I just want to encourage folks that it’s okay to look like you. And choose not to get things fixed or not to be bothered because of any one thing.
idk part of me wish I cared? like if I was the kind of person that felt certain things were worth changing, hiding etc.. but I’m not. I worte an entire chapter on being bullied about vitiligo. the part of me that would care died a very long time ago.
I wear natural hair, no bra. I don’t shave, will keep my gaps (my very fancy dentist tells me it makes my face, btw), I won’t ever get botox or go on a diet or or or..
What if we stopped normalizing what inherently isn’t normal? And that way we without a doubt raised some radical, normal, respectful young women? “
Here’s the thing, I don’t have an issue with fixing your teeth, getting botox, or even finding an eating habit that works for your body and that is healthy. I just am against women feeling like if they choose to not change this, then they are somehow not normal? Like fixing or altering has somehow become ordinary and expected. It seems to be that women often feel like they have to change things about themselves they don’t really want to change. They do because of this sort of false standard of accesible beauty. If you want work done, more power to you. And if you don’t, power to you. Women shouldn’t be questioned, made fun of, or commented on for choosing to remain as they are.
Why are we so comfortable making comments about someone’s appearance? And why are we expected to change what we don’t want to?
Illustration by Ashley Seil Smith