Sonya Renee Taylor, author of ‘The Body is Not An Apology – Radical Self-Love for Everybody And Every Body’ was on the latest instalment of Brene Browns podcast. I mean, what a title!
Taylor speaks of the system of oppression that profit from self-hatred, and offers an alternative: radical self-love to heal body shame, in ourselves and the world.
Unapologetic, compassionate and strong, her words moved millions.
After all, everyone has a body!
Sonya has an incredible way with words, I suggest this poem by her.
She speaks of body terrorism that comes with racism, sexism, queer bodies being abused and assaulted, with the haunting of abortion clinics and sexual assault survivors.
It’s the snickering when we see a woman’s body hair, stretch marks or rolls
Its the fear and shame that is inherently passed down in media and common language.
Feeling that our body is wrong, unaccepted or incapable leaves scars.
Bodies aren’t chosen,
they are gifted.
A lot of the trauma work I am interested in stresses how crucial it is to listen to the body.
Somatic experiencing has taught me to be at home in my body, to feel safe in it.
As Taylor said “I learn how to listen to my body. I must listen or I will die.”
We have lost touch with our bodies, our impulses, our instincts.
Can we listen to our home without
judgement, expectation and demands?
Can we not only accept our home
or be confident, but also love it wholeheartedly?
Not only have we internalised shaming our own body, but also the body of others.
I used to be shocked at how the women in my family lamented weight gain, and yet picked at anyone who didn’t look like a model in a crowd.
Their insecurities were bleeding out and they were establishing them as the status quo.
This endless cycle is unconscious and passive, until we wake up.
“A culture fixated on female thinness is not
an obsession about female beauty but
an obsession about female obedience.”
– Naomi Wolfe
Just like women are told to be thin, men are taught to be muscular.
Wolfe continues to say that dieting is the most potent political sedative in history.
As long as we’re preoccupied with our appearance, we won’t question deeper agendas.
We chase the perfect body (which doesn’t exist), thinking it will make us happy. But it never does.
Happiness and love comes from within.
It is not given, it is claimed.
What’s stopping you from giving your body the love it deserves?