Looking at you, all of you, makes me want to hide.
My distain for you has grown with each passing year, and I’m tired.
I’m tired of feeling less than because of something as simple as texture.
I’m tired of looking at you in the mirror, day after day, year after year. I may hate my thighs and that my belly has a roll or two, but I loathe you the most. I loathe your crevasses that run deep through my skin, that are unwelcome and sometimes show up unannounced.
I’m tired of using my hands or the closest piece of cloth I can find to hide you from the world; I’m tired of seeing that you exist in places on my body where society demands perfection.
I’m tired of giving into this idea. I know I am worth more than you and that I am not defined by you, and yet I cannot stop the voices in my head from talking about you.
I’m tired of being a woman capable of repairing a strained relationship with my mother and yet you are a permanent trace on my body I want no part of and I cannot seem to conquer. Something as simple as you is somehow more complicated than the relationship with the woman who birthed me.
I am tired.
I am tired of not being able to love you.
I am tired because I have been fighting my whole life to feel beautiful and when I finally can, when I finally can see beauty in me, you remind me of all the undesirable parts of me.
But you, the imperfections on my body, remind me to send love to my sweet soul, for my soul cannot be controlled by those voices, or by the sight of you, by anything other than my shining, bright light that has nothing to do with the texture of my skin.
I am tired, but I am ready to let go of the idea of you. The idea that you are unwelcome on my body, the idea that you cause me shame when others see you.
I am tired, but I am ready to love you. Ready to look at you, like I looked my mother in her eyes and forgave her for all of her mistakes, for all of her faults.
I am tired, but I am ready to forgive you, too.
I am tired, but I am ready to accept you.
I am tired, but I am ready to accept me.
I am ready to accept a body covered with signs of you.
I am ready.
photos by Britney Gill