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Dear Self

The idea of body positivity sounds simple. 
Body positivity is the radical philosophy that all bodies are good bodies and that all bodies are worthy of self-love, self-care, and acceptance; all bodies are allowed to feel beautiful - and the definition of beauty is boundless. An example of body positivity is to look in the mirror and say out loud all of the things you like about your physique.

But learning to love yourself can be harder than it sounds.

Pushing back against the negative norms we see every day can be tough. For the days when you need a little extra inspiration, here are a few of my favorite body-positive poems to boost your confidence and encourage self-love. 
 
She does not know
her beauty,
she thinks her brown body
has no glory.
 
If she could dance
naked
under palm trees
and see her image in the river,
she would know.
_____
William Waring Cuney
   
Planina ceramic vase
 

Tell your daughters how you love your body. 
Tell them how they must love theirs. 

Tell them to be proud of every bit of themselves - 
from their tiger stripes to the soft flesh of their thighs, 
whether there is a little of them or a lot, 
whether freckles cover their face or not, 
whether their curves are plentiful or slim, 
whether their hair is thick, curly, straight, long or short. 

Tell them how they inherited 
their ancestors’ souls in their smiles, 
that their eyes carry countries 
that breathed life into history, 
that the swing of their hips 
does not determine their destiny. 

Tell them never to listen when bodies are critiqued. 
Tell them every woman’s body is beautiful 
because every woman’s soul is unique.

_____
Nikita Gill

  
Planina ceramic vase

  

You don’t have to prove to anyone
just how tough you are.
You are still here,
and you are still alive despite
all of life’s storms and
tornados and hurricanes.
You have weathered them all
like a grand old oak tree,
and you are still here.
You are still alive.
And if that isn’t tough,
I don’t know what is.
____
Nikita Gill

      

Planina sculpture

your wild hair
is just a little
glimpse of who
you are,
it tells me
that your heart
and your dreams
and soul
are just as wild
as those locks
of yours
you are lovely
and free
and brave
and
your heart finds
life in color
and boldness
and who you are,
wildflower,
makes you beautiful.

____
Gaby Comprés

  
Planina ceramics vases
   
Covering ourselves in night cream, we fight our wrinkles, and buy anything that says anti-aging.
We want our skin to stay frozen.
Frozen in a time when we didn't even appreciate the glow of young skin.
Spent our entire youth hating what we saw in the mirror and doing everything we could to keep it covered.
Under thick masks and dark outlines we tried new products, techniques, designs,
Searching for one that made us feel pretty.
We let - no - we pay doctors to stick long needles into our soft features and change them with chemicals making us less human and more plastic
and that's just our face
our bodies? we do so much worse
Starving ourselves till our heart shrinks in the only thing running through our brains is you are fat, you are fat, you are fat, and who is to blame us when everything we see is telling us to believe that
“I run so I can eat” “I work out because I love food”
These words are printed on shirts that we wear when we should feel powerful but instead send the messages that you don't deserve to eat unless you earn it
Burning every last calorie until we are empty again
We work so ******* fixing our bodies, but maybe that's not what's broken maybe the repair work is needed in our heads and in our hearts tweaking until we can find a connection of love between our bodies and our minds.
The same genuine love you have for your mom, or your dog, or your daughter
Unconditional, Everlasting,
When will we learn to love ourselves?
____
Savanna

And, Why are we more preoccupied with being pretty than being ourselves?

 
“Mom, will I be pretty? Will I be pretty?”
I will wipe that question from your mouth like cheap lipstick and answer,
“No!” The word ‘pretty’ is unworthy of everything you will be, and no child of mine will be contained in five letters.
“You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing. But you, will never be merely 'pretty'.”
   

 

Dear Self,

Not loving yourself is easy. It is throwing yourself into the darkness and hoping your bungee cord doesn’t snap. But learning to love yourself, to accept the flaws? That is the journey back up the mountain. Every movement is important. Your own strength pulls your body back up the rock, and when you reach the top, you can see the sunlight again. And dear Self, you will make it up this mountain. You already have.


Photos by Martina Martin

Poems hellopoetry.com