A Love Letter to My Body
By Alexandra Stagliano--I can’t quite remember when I first started thinking about you, body. I mean really thinking about you… poking and prodding and seeing what jiggled or wobbled. I figure it had to have been at least middle school when my not-quite-flat tummy made an appearance in chorus class during stretching and my arms fluttered as I ran on the middle school track. But now, as a 21-year-old woman, I have begun to think about you differently.
Here is an ode to you, body, and all that I have put you through. You are a part of what makes me who I am, but you do not define me, so why should I define you? It’s taken us a while to get to this point, where I love what jiggles and wobbles and what does not. Thank you for staying resilient through long nights of reading and pizza eating. Thank you for putting up with all that I have put you through and for allowing me to have so many wonderful experiences, to do so many things that I love.
I spent so long comparing you to other bodies, but there is not one just like you and that is what I love about you most. You are unique and beautiful in your own way… and you are a part of me. You’re not an hourglass or a pear or an apple… you are the reason I can skate, dance until 2am, and push through exams, papers, and job applications. Body, you allow me to do all of the things that I love and I cannot begin to thank you enough. You stayed strong, even through years of me abusing you and picking you apart, telling you that you weren’t enough when you are so much more than enough.
To all the other bodies out there, know that you are just as unique and wonderful. Maybe you don’t belong to the people in magazines or on TV – or maybe you do – but regardless of what you look like, do what makes you happy and know that you are beautiful and worthwhile. Whether it is eating Ben & Jerry’s or pushing through a 5am spin class, if it makes you happy, do not let anyone tell you otherwise and certainly do not let anyone tell you what you should or should not be.
Dear body, it may have taken two decades for us to get to this point, but I am here proclaiming my love for you and showing my gratitude for all that you’ve enabled me to do. It might not always be easy, but even as I grow older and you change, I’ll discover all of the different ways to love you and to grow with you.