A Letter To Your Body…
Jess McCabe // 23 March 2008
We’re a bit late on this one, but Blog Her is asking women to write a letter to their own bodies. As you can imagine, the results are interesting. Another blogger at Blog Her followed this up with a specific call for women of colour to add their voices.
Some snippets from the letters:
I’m sorry that man attacked you on the street. I wished I could have protected you better. And later on when you were physically ill I wished I could have fought harder faster so I could have gotten the help you needed. Unemployment and illness do not mix well.
Lady Shanny Says:
I do what I can to make you look as nice as possible (although it has come to my attention that I need to work on that). I know that how you look is how you will always look (give or take) and I accept that. I will never be rude or mean to you about what you look like but you have to understand that, again, I will never be completely happy with it either.
I often say that I hate you, and I never ever stop to think how that makes you feel. After all, you look after me pretty well even after an operation, being ill for a year, all of those antibiotics, all of that alcohol and all of the stress I’ve thrown at you.
Please forgive me. I’m so sorry that I turned off my feelings and spent years trying to push you into a box, a darkened closet or a life of misery. I’m so sorry that I kept you shut away and avoided so many opportunities to be in the company of wonderful people, new experiences and the presence of joy. I’m so sorry that I held you back from being loved and appreciated. I never realized how much harm all those messages I bought into about you was doing us both. I truly believed that the problem was you. I thought by making you smaller, I would get back the power that had been stolen from me. I was so angry that you wouldn’t bend and yield to my will.
Yes, you guessed it, most of the letters are saddening. Particularly when collected together, they mostly tell a story of a war of attrition, which at best ends with an uneasy ceasefire.
And, tangentially linked, check out ABC’s report on Ariana Page Russell who takes advantage of a skin condition to turn her body into a piece of art:
Dermatographia, which literally means “writing on the skin,” is a disorder that produces hivelike welts on the skin when scratched. Russell, 29, always blushed easily while growing up, but it wasn’t until her teens that she noticed she could draw designs and patterns on her skin.
Photo by Androjinn, shared under a Creative Commons license