Body Series

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

I met Hannah in 10th grade hebrew class, and part of me wants to say band, but I’m not sure if my memory is serving me well today. Hannah has always been unbelievably talented not just with words, but with shapes, with drawings, with art. She exudes warmth, and softness and it’s graceful. Thank you for making those moments with Rami fulfilled and full of energy. Thank your for grace, kindness, and vulnerability. Hannah, thank you for sharing.

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 Hannah (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?

A mean cat eye.

2. What makes you feel powerful?

Hearing people laugh at my jokes.

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

There’s no shame in getting dolled up. I was raised kind of demonizing cosmetic pursuits but I now realize there’s power in how we present ourselves. Also, there’s no wrong way to have a body.

4. How does your skin color make you feel?

I have an ambivalent relationship with my skin. I inherited my grandmother’s Thai complexion watered down with an Eastern European genetic smorgasbord. I love how I get tan very easily and naturally in the summer but I hate how sickly my “olive” tones get in the winter. It also puts me in this weird phenomenon where I have some very real white privilege and guilt while still being coded as “ethnic.”

5. How have you struggled with your body?

 I struggle with nourishing it. When I’m anxious or cut off socially I fall into patterns of eating very little because I don’t feel like I “deserve” it. I used to get sick to my stomach all the time. Over the years I’ve tried various dietary restrictions but the best solution has been physically removing myself from the stressors in my life. It’s not like my GI system magically healed, I still have issues, but a lot of the nausea turned out to be good old fashioned anxiety.

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

…In my body is a safe place to be because everything in it is designed to keep me alive.

From Hannah, with love.

Thank you.

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