Body Series

In my body is a safe space to be, A series: From Keegan, with love.

I’ve always thought Keegan was the sweetest being. I remember meeting her for the first time during freshman year of college, and totally digging all her vibes. Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of watching her “grow, and she’s acquired this beautiful ability to be so soft and yet so powerful. There is beauty and magic in that–in her. Keegan, thank you for always being so sweet to me. I will always remember the kind words you shared with me way back in our “tumblr-ing” days. You’ve always been so positive, and so joyful to know. Thank you for your vulnerability. Thank you for sharing! 18280068_1918699531489647_433101276_n

I’ve started this series because through my own self acceptance search/journey I’ve realized that we, as humans, all have problems with our skin suit no matter what it looks like. The point of this series is to confront our flaws AND to highlight our excellence. I hope one day we’ll all be able to wake up and that voice in our mind which lists all our faults on repeat will be much quieter if not silent. The mirror will be less scary. We’ll smile as we pass our gorgeous selves. We’ll have a bounce in our steps. One day we’ll love our bodies exactly as they are right now. We might have bad days . We might have bad weeks. Yet once we unlock that key, that key of self love we’ll know we can get back to a sanctuary within our bodies. Our bodies and our selves are waiting for that love, waiting for that permission to just be. As I said to Keegan (and as I say to all my future spotlights), be gentle with yourself, you are meeting parts of yourself that you have been at war with.

1. What makes you feel beautiful?

Superficially, I like to have eyeliner on, but ultimately I feel beautiful when I’m happy no matter what I have on.

2. What makes you feel powerful?

I like when I can do something that helps people. I’m a serial fixer and when people come to me with a problem I love to find a way to fix it. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but if I haven’t helped anyone in a day I’ll feel like the day wasn’t as productive as it could have been.

3. What would you tell your past self about beauty and bodies?

Dear Keegan circa 2005-2013: You need to chill. You need to be careful of the way you talk to yourself, and the way you let other people treat you because you are so nice to others but you are so mean to yourself. Look at yourself and your accomplishment separate from your body and really recognize how fantastic you are.    

4. How does your skin color make you feel?

I’m white so usually I feel like I have a lot to learn, and sometimes really guilty because there are so many things I don’t know yet but I am trying. I recognize that I have a a lot of privilege but I’m trying to use it for good.  

5. How have you struggled with your body?

My answer is actually very similar to Chelsea’s from earlier in this series. My self esteem has been low since elementary school and I consistently looked outside of myself for approval. There was also to me a very clear cut idea of what “normal” was and I was constantly trying to figure out how I could make up for my perceived shortcomings. For example in high school I didn’t have a boyfriend (figured out later I don’t like boys lol), I was overweight, and I was truly shit at running BUT I got great grades, played violin, captained the JV tennis team, and did a lot of service work. The problem was that I viewed those great accomplishments as “breaking even” because the other things put my self worth in the negatives.   

I always thought that I’d figure everything out after I left high school. In the summer before college I worked out obsessively, started counting calories and lost a lot of weight. That external approval that I wanted so much I got, but it wasn’t good enough for me. That deep seated feeling of inferiority just fed into self harm, disordered eating, and panic attacks. I’m not saying all of those things are under control now, but the best thing I did for myself was focus on my self awareness. I actually attribute that focus on self to working at summer camp which is a magical experience I will always recommend. Moral of the story is that I still don’t have everything figured out but I’m a lot farther along than I used to be.

6. Complete this sentence… “In my body is a safe place to be because….”

In my body is a safe place to be because I made it that way, and I will be kind to myself.

From Keegan, with love.

Thank you.

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