I used to think true self-acceptance was a myth: Of course I believe all bodies are beautiful—but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t prefer a smaller butt and a slimmer waist. Luckily for me, I’ve been able to overcome the pressures of unrealistic cultural beauty standards and redirect that energy elsewhere: a deep loathing for what I’ve now discovered to be my horrible personality.
I’m finally free.
It’s an amazing feeling to love how you look. I just can’t believe it took so long! It’s staggering to consider how much energy I wasted relentlessly criticizing my body when I could have turned it all inward. I was so busy worrying about my thigh gap, I forgot that I never tip! I was so wrapped up in diet fads, I overlooked my responsibility in three really terrible hit-and-runs. I was so occupied with hating my skinnier roommate, Hannah, I neglected to acknowledge her weight loss was because of a devastating genetic disease. I was such a fool. But now I know: My body is gorgeous just the way it is and also, I’m a piece of shit.
I’ve found the light.
I wear whatever I want and feel great about it. I look at my friends and they’re still fixated on fitting within a broken system of beauty standards. Sure, they sleep soundly, free from the kind of personal demons that haunt and devastate me, but what’s a good night’s sleep if the morning is spent hatefully looking at a closet of “skinny clothes” you still can’t fit into? I threw my size 2 jeans out, and then I kicked someone’s dog and hated myself for it.
I have ascended.
I realize now that it doesn’t matter what my body looks like. Here are the things I used to hate about my body: Flabby arms. Shapeless butt. Wide feet. Here are the things I now hate about my personality: I spoil popular television shows, all the time. I only post on social media to talk about my “hubby.” I have a Yahoo email address. I use the word “retarded” pejoratively. I’m constantly “playing devil’s advocate.” I’ve never voted. I litter frequently.
It’s all worth it. It has to be worth it.
If you too experience the agony of hating your body but believe you can’t overcome it, it is possible! Just open your heart up enough to self-love that you realize how stunning you really are, and you’ll realize what really matters: You’re a horrible, terrible person with a shitty personality.