Have you noticed how we're taught to value bodies?
I have. And It's taken years for me to wake up and see that almost everything I've learned is a lie.
It's obvious to me now that there's a clear body hierarchy, where White, straight, cis gender, able-bodied men sit at the top.
I can see that if you're not already at the top of the body hierarchy, then you're convinced to do anything to get as close to the top as possible.
I see the body terrorism that gets hurled at Black and Brown folks, especially those of us who are women, gender non-conforming, fat, disabled, or queer.
I see which bodies are considered safe and which ones are branded dangerous.
I see that the goal of those at the top of the hierarchy is to remain at the top, at all costs.
My awakening has also allowed me to see how the ranking of bodies is reinforced in messages and images that claim to promote health and wellness.
I see how images of thin, White, cis, able bodies are often used to convey normalcy or perfection.
I see these images being used to "inspire" us to keep going against ourselves over and over again.
I see how we view other people with suspicion, envy, or disdain because of their bodies. We monitor, police, and punish ourselves, our family and friends, and even strangers on the street.
I see how we're convinced that spending our time and money to get closer to the top of that hierarchy is a worthwhile endeavor.
I see how all of these lies have obstructed my view of my true self.
Maybe you see this too.
This is what I know to be true: Most of the messages we hear about health or wellness or living your 'best life" are really just sneaky invitations to conform, assimilate, and submit.
We don't arrive on this Earth ashamed of our bodies or hating other people because of theirs. Shame, embarrassment, and anxiety creep in over time because of the messages we see and hear every day of our lives.
We are passively socialized into believing these lies. It's our responsibility to actively resist them to get to the truth.