This Body Is Mine, This Body Is Beautiful: a Poem on Embracing Ourselves

We are curvy
with more handles than we know how to love
we are thighs without gaps
faces both maturity slim and little girl round

We have been wrestling with these bodies
treating them more like battle grounds than temples
more temporary homes than lighthouses
we have pinched, pulled, and tugged
allowed shattered mirrors and hate words to blind our perceptions

This is no way to reclaim our worthy
this is no way to tread in our purpose
so my darling, let’s make a pact,
right here and now
that we would love
these curves, thighs, and every handle
that we would tuck
grace filled declarations
into every part of these bodies
delicately claiming
confidently proclaiming,

This body is beautiful

This body is mine
This body is beautiful

Your body is yours
Your body is beautiful

We refuse to be shamed into covering these curves
as if they were disposable pieces
or x-marks for digging out unwanted treasures
to make someone else more comfortable

Our bodies were not made to make others feel comfortable

This Body Is Mine, This Body Is Beautiful: a Poem on Embracing Ourselves - Yellow Co.jpg

This body, is a temple
with sacred novels and Holy Scriptures etched into our bones
built to hold more passion than a human being can fathom

You were made for glory, the human epitome of a light
a spirit so vast, that it had to be contained behind flesh
to tone down the brilliance

This body is glitter
and yet, we wake up,
tell our bodies before they even
start breathing that they are wrong
that each day they have failed
at their chance of being something worth holding

These bodies have done us nothing but good
they have loved us through every skipped meal,
cried tears for every time we compared them to another,
wrapped their arms around us when everything else felt distant

These bodies are faithful
it’s time that we start returning the favor

Say it with me…

This body is mine

This body is beautiful

This sweet body is mine and the entirety of this body is beautiful
Your body is yours, your body is beautiful

This Body Is Mine, This Body Is Beautiful: a Poem on Embracing Ourselves - Yellow Co.jpg

I’ve always been a “bigger” built type of woman. Accentuated curves, hips and thighs, nothing about me small except my amount confidence. My father is an ex-NFL linebacker and for some reason, someone thought it would be necessary to make his eldest child be built just like him. My friends whom I often referred to as pixies, they were everything dainty and petite, and I was far from it. Now I can look back and identify the root of my comparison, I always felt as though there was this distance from how I saw myself versus how I saw others.

There was a distance in a sense that my body didn’t feel like my own, it didn’t feel like home or a space I wanted to embrace or even reside in.

For years society has shaped our views of beauty through media and entertainment, from television to magazines. We are surrounded by messages of “do this and look like that” all saying to us ultimately that we’re not good enough. How do we navigate in this culture with confidence and self awareness that doesn’t result in self deprecating?

Well for one, think about your makeup. Your very DNA. I think about the people I was created from - two strong-boned, strong-minded individuals who did not make and could not make a petite daughter. Think about how uninteresting life would be if we all looked exactly the same. Would the concept of beauty be simpler? Sure, but it also wouldn’t be diverse.

This Body Is Mine, This Body Is Beautiful: a Poem on Embracing Ourselves - Yellow Co.jpg

The magic of what makes people beautiful (their uniqueness) would cease to exist and beauty as we know would not be intricate and intentional.

As women living in this current culture, we are finding everyday the necessity of reclaiming our identities, reclaiming our voices, reclaiming our beauty; and in that reclaiming, it is absolutely necessary to create anthems for ourselves. Anthems that we sing over the lies that we have to be anything but who we already are. Women are beautiful beings, who have the ability to give life, nurture, create, grow and shape others into embracing their own identities, their own beauty.

This is my anthem: that as a girl who was timid and squirmed uncomfortably in her own body, I would grow to be a woman who would stand a little taller, a lot more confidently, and help remind others of their own beauty and value. There is a level of respect that comes from embracing yourself fully - a declaration that says, “You see this body? This skin? These dimples and stretch marks? They are mine and you cannot decide their value. That privilege is reserved for me and only me.”

Illustrations by Larsen & Lund

Arielle Estoria

Arielle ​Estoria is a Writer, Speaker and Creative. Her motto of “Words not for the ears but for the soul” stemming from her belief that words are meant to be felt and not just heard. Arielle’s first EP of music and poetry called Symphony of a Lioness is available on iTunes. She is co-author of two poetry collections: Vagabonds and Zealots (2014) and Write Bloody Spill Pretty (2017). She is made of sass and good intentions and has a deep love for car karaoke and brunch.