This Body Is Mine

24 02 2010

This body is mine.

 Nobody else’s.

 The tiny, bony wrists are mine; the zits on my face are mine; the folds of flesh over the top of my jeans are mine. The straight line of rigid bumps down my back is mine. The six-inch-long scar on my right ankle is mine, and the aluminum plate over the bone. The curving white teeth are mine. The smooth curve where lower back turns into ass is mine. So are the soft, sensitive places under my arms. The bruised kneecaps are mine, the dry, flaky elbows, the broad shoulders, the narrow hips, the chipped nails, the elaborately folded genitalia. These are all mine.

 And they aren’t anybody else’s.

 I say where my body takes me, and what it does when I get there. I say how my body moves. I say what goes into my body, be it oily mac and cheese, alcohol, medications, tattoo ink, or a penis. I say what comes off my body, be it scabs, leg hair, or a potential bone tumor. I say what my body is used for. I say how my body is covered. If I become pregnant, I say whether or not I will let the fetus use my body. I say who can touch my body and where and when. And that’s okay. More than okay- that’s my right. Because it’s mine.

 And it’s not anybody else’s.

 So, to my ex-director who felt the need to comment on how I have large breasts, but not really, it just looks that way because I have a small frame: Fuck off. It’s my body, and I don’t need or want your opinion on what it looks like. Acknowledging that you’re objectifying me after the fact does not actually make it all better.

 And to my friend, who likes to pick me up when he hugs me: STOP IT. It’s my body, and I prefer it to stay on the ground, thank you.

 And to the family members who, every holiday, insist on serving me second and third helpings of sausage, as well as the acquaintances who ask me why I’m not finishing my glass of wine: I don’t want any more. It’s my body, and I know it better than you do. I know what you’re suggesting (or insisting upon) will make me feel ways I don’t want to feel.

 And to my dear, dear father, who still holds  onto the hope that I will someday cut my hair short again and lets me know at every opportunity: I love you more than anything, but no. My hair is my body too, and I want it to stay long. Because it’s mine.

 And it’s not yours. It’s not anybody else’s.

 It’s mine.

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One response

1 03 2010
The Voracious Vegan

This is so powerful and clear, thank you for sharing. It is such a basic concept but one that we often overlook or forget: our body really does belong to us. What we do with it is entirely up to us and has nothing to do with anyone else. Beautifully written, thank you.

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