No matter how much my relationship to my body changes, people will likely, very likely have something to say about it.
This weekend, I celebrated Diwali with my family and it was quite honestly the most comment/feedback/insight/jokes/you fill in the blank I had received about my body in a long time now, well to that degree anyway. A few sentences would pass in conversation and then it would come right back to exactly this: Arti’s size and weight.
These comments don’t floor me in the way they once used to but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a sting at times.
And this time I felt the sting.
But now, it doesn’t just sting for me. It hurts for all of us who receive this kind of unsolicited judgement and abuse.
I had the absolute pleasure of meeting and listening to Harnaam Kaur, a huge figure in the body positivity movement, share her personal story and journey last week. She shared that even at this point in her life, with all of the freedom and love she has created with her body, not a day goes by without someone making comment about her appearance. She can’t remember a day now when she didn’t receive some form of judgement or abuse.
Yesterday, I ran the second live experience for my current ‘I Love My Body!’ coaching programme, my client shared her anxiety of seeing her body in the space we were in and her difficulty in using her body to expand and command presence because of the onslaught of conditioning that she has received to stay small because that’s what we small people should do. And the effects on her life, as a result, are visible.
It hurt me that just because me, Harnaam, my client and countless others have been born into these bodies that have taken shape as they have and developed in these ways, people have taken it upon themselves and somehow found it right to pass judgement and abuse as and when they see fit with no consideration for the person on the receiving end.
We’re more than just bodies, we are people, we have hearts, we have feelings, we have every right to be here in this form as you do in yours.
Treat our bodies with respect, in the way we treat yours.
Think…then don’t speak but feel.
Feel how it would be on the receiving end of your judgements and abuse because that is exactly what they are.
I don’t care that you think I’m too skinny. I’m beautiful and my body is frickin’ awesome and I’m so grateful for her.
Harnaam doesn’t care that you think she’s too hairy. She’s beautiful, an absolute bad-ass, as is Sundari (her beard).
My client is learning to not care that you think she’s too small. I have seen such might, courage and power in this woman, it is an absolute honour and privilege to witness that come to light!
But we are human, with feelings, so care about us and the forms we’ve chosen to take.
Happy World Kindness Day.