This piece was prompted by an amazing initiative by For Women Who Roar
You are 28 now. You still have two toenails on each of your little toes. It still looks weird. Your heels are still cracked, and your nail varnish is still chipped. Your left knee still has a scar from when we misjudged a gutter (and cried whilst picking out the gravel in the dark). Your calves are still defined. You still have a patchwork of bruises and you still don’t know where from. You still have eyebrows that meet in the middle and creep down your nose.
But now your thighs touch at the top. In the summer they rub together when you walk and feel like they might start a fire. They spread across seats like honey, they are soft, and they flow and ripple as you move. For a long time, I hated them, but I don’t hate them anymore.
Now your skin is now dimpled and stretched and scarred. You have acne that creeps along your jaw for one week out of every four. I don’t try and hide that anymore.
Now they know what is wrong with you and I work to deal with that fact that you are wired differently to what I had hoped at the start. Your stomach fluctuates with the tides of eating and drinking, of stressing and celebrating. It is often full of pain, and often full of cake. It has been scanned and starved and covered in gel, scrutinised in mirrors and in changing rooms and in ultrasounds. I don’t resent it anymore.
Now there is a drawing of a bee inked above the blue hue of veins in your wrist. It is in the place you gazed upon once and wondered if it might be the answer to a lonely, sad question. It was not. I don’t hate myself anymore.
I am sorry for what I said because you were fat when all I wanted was thinness, because you were sad when all I wanted was happiness, and because you were sick when all I wanted was wellness. I was disgusted by you, and I told you too often. Other people joined in and I would never defend you. I was unkind to you when all you ever did, was give me a safe, warm, beautiful place to live.