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Like many others, the insecurities of my body are evident. Whether it is in my self-loathing tweets made in the early hours, or in the various scars physically evident on my body. They are all part of a long (and continuous) struggle of self-love. I can remember the exact moment I started to dislike my body. I was in primary school, around nine years old, and my mum had finally bought me this pleated, ankle length, grey skirt that I had always wanted to wear to class. It didn’t fit. I pinched my stomach and mimicked words I had heard my mother and aunty say in conversations where they did the same. “I need to go on a diet.” Looking back this was probably the first time I viewed my body as something separate to who I was. It wasn’t doing what I needed it to do. My body needed fixing. It was flawed. It was the start of an unhealthy decline into body dysmorphia.
Since then I have put my body under immense stress and pressure. Constantly yo-yoing in weight, losing and gaining up to 20 kilos in a matter of months. I have hacked at my hair, had my skin tattooed, harmed myself, and constantly have varying bruises and new scars. Mental illness, combined with contracting bad habits, continuously negotiate how far I am willing to push my body. Minor instances such as staying up until 7am, or chain smoking whilst drinking with friends, start to take there toll.
However nowadays when I see myself in a disappointing light, instead of remembering my peers, ex-lovers, and even strangers who have commented negatively on body, I try to imagine it as a landscape. Like the Port Hills: various bumps and mounds, contours with stretch marks running across them. My body is evidence of my history; it has the ability to change and adapt, and I am grateful for that.