Dear citizens of the universe (and beyond) (like bed bath and beyond) (but actually not at all like bed bath and beyond),
I’m releasing the Body Love music video in one week.
I decided to launch The Body Love campaign in conjunction with the anticipation of the video starting today. Every day on my Instagram, I will focus on a part of my body that I embrace, and offer you to do the same- posting a picture with it, hashtags, and a description that will automatically post to the Body Love Campaign website. Your empowerment and strength can be a tool for others. I believe we can build each other up. I think self love is one of the most important and potentially culture-shifting movements that is happening and can be propelled. I was inspired by Denise Jolly’s “Be Beautiful” project, and Sonya Renee’s “The Body is Not an Apology” movement.
How beautiful is that phrase? The body is not an apology. It almost makes me cry. Being a lesbian, a plus size woman, and an incest and rape survivor born in poverty, I have spent much of my life in guilt. All of these identities that are a part of me have effected my body in one way or another, most for the worse– especially in my teens. I binge ate, cut myself, slept with whoever validated me, and drank to oblivion. I made a vow at 21, when I wrote the final edit of the poem, “Body Love” that my self-destructive behavior would end with the birth of this writing. This is a live video of the poem, and probably the most vulnerable I’ve felt performing.
I also want to take a brief minute to say that I write these things from the point of view of a plus-size woman, which is my experience. I can’t tell you what it’s like to be too tall to find clothes at department stores, or too petite to fit into regular women’s clothing, or be criticized for not being a buff enough man. But I do know what it’s like to feel simultaneously invisible and also the subject of brutally mean comments. All body dysmorphia is valid; Everyone is going through something. I try to remember that as much as I can. The girl at Starbucks who doesn’t look up to even make eye contact or bother to say ‘hello’ back to me is going through something. Regardless of my indignation, I am not entitled to any kind of response. I am in charge of my own energy output into the world. I realize now we are all simultaneously victims and villains with our judgments.
Sometimes I wake up and I’m like,
“Hell yeah. what a great bod. I’m gonna dance all naked in front of the mirror for way too long.” and then sometimes I look at myself and I only see what the mean girls in middle school told me. In my head I hear:
“You’re too fat to be loved.”
Despite the guise of curvy confidence, with an EP titled ‘Welcome to the Age of My Body’ to shout it from the rooftops and borderline preachy posts on social media, I think about it daily. A couple months ago, my girlfriend kissed my stomach for the simple reason that she truly loved it, loved every part of me, and I found myself sobbing uncontrollably. For completely baring my soul on stages around the country, I was terrifyingly shaken by this sheer act of pure love. How could someone possibly love this stomach? These stretch marks? Our stomachs are made to tuck, to hide, to put spanx on, to smooth out, right?
The thought occurred to me:
I am not an isolated incident. This is not the first time a human has had any of these thoughts. In fact, this is a universal fear, regardless of size.
“I am too ______ to be loved.”
To this, I say:
You are not, nor have you ever, been alone.
Your body is worthy.
Of love, of dignity, of sexiness, of glory.
We are all stumbling to find ourselves.
We are all aching to love each other in the mess.
You are capable of exercising self-love.
You have all the knowledge and power to heal your own wounds, and no one can do that for you.
Starting today and through the week, I will focus on a body part every day, and tell you why I like it and why it’s hella real. I want you to share why YOU like YOUR hair, booty, face, etc. on social media with me. Let’s make this big.
Today on Tuesday the 15th, I begin my #BodyLove campaign with LoveMyHair. I love my reddish/brownish hair that sometimes I dye and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I don’t have time to wash it and it gets hella dirty and gross and the hair stylist looks at me like I’m trying to get white girl dreads. I put it in a bun on my head! I wear a headband and look like a soccer mom! I side-pony it! I let it curl naturally! I put bandanas in it, who cares? I love it. #LoveMyHair. #BodyLove
Love you babes.
Share with me why you love YOUR hair today (tomorrow is a new Body Love) and please feel free to rhyme. Upload an image of yourself to Instagram (and boos, include both hashtags and @marylambertsing so I can see it!) #BodyLove #LoveMyHair