A note: I am lucky. My physical sex reflects my gender. I cannot write as or represent those who feel otherwise, nor will I attempt to. I send compassion to brothers and sisters who are sisters and brothers. And They/Them/You are loved.
There have been times when my hands can’t stand to touch my own body.
It seems to be an act of cruelty we save only for ourselves, to withhold affection from lonely skin.
If my fingertips graze my stomach, what will happen when I exhale?
If my palms press against my hips, will my thighs relax?
There have been days where the mirror poses as a risk, a game changer.
These dimples, bumps, and rolls cry out for comfort, claiming light and shadow to gain attention.
Yet I stand, a shrewd judge of shape, asking silently why I’m unhappy.
Why did I grow out of the mold that others nest in so comfortably?
This body takes up space that others think it’s underserving of.
Strangers admit to questioning how I live my life: how I move, what I eat.
They abuse and spread bile, careless in their comments without consequence.
What are we built from that others see as bulletproof? What indestructible armour am I missing?
Most are not born feeling alien in our own skin. These insecurities are not organic.
These doubts and fears are contrived by a society captivated with normality.
The journey towards happiness is paved: human contact, sex, love, to be deemed attractive and worthy.
Campaigns then move the goalposts, conditioning our confidence and breaking spirits.
Keep trying they say, keep working towards that acceptable standard society has set.
How glorious it would be to wake up one morning and have achieved perfection.
But there have only ever been fictional representations of The Ideal.
He/She/They are the myth that keeps us unsatisfied, preventing our hearts from feeling full.
Yet out of the blue, in this big wide world, somebody will see you.
They see you for everything you are, underneath the face and figure you scrutinize.
They see your heart as it’s worn on your sleeve.
They see your fear of being bare. A nakedness that is more than skin.
Fear of being raw, fear of being honest with yourself, fear of being honest with another.
I am too much. I am too big.
I am too emotional. I am too honest.
I am too caring. I am too sensitive.
But none of these are flaws. They are part of you, and you must be brave my darling.
Though years of self-sabotage will disagree, this attention is deserved.
You are allowed to feel attractive and sexual, regardless of when you’ve been told otherwise.
You must recognize that you deserve happiness just the way you are.
Even on days where the idea of loving your body is impossible: You are beautiful.
Even when you are uncomfortable in your own skin: You are beautiful.
Even though you will never look the way society wrongly dictates: You are beautiful.
Though your mirror only shows your weakness: You are perfection in someone’s eyes.
I have experienced comfort, love and pleasure with those who earned my trust.
My body has been called warm, and soft, and feminine.
I have known nakedness and passion without inhibition.
And I am beautiful.