Women criticize their own bodies relentlessly.

Even back in the day, when the desired womanly figure type was curvy, healthy, robust — meaty even — women still managed to find faults and imperfections with their perfectly beautiful bodies (and those of other women too). Body-shaming is a disease that seems to plague women of all ages, and it must stop now. Here’s why.

Your body is good, period.

“She has a good body.” The first time I heard someone say this, I was in college at a frat house party. Of course there was a gorgeous girl there who seemed to command the floor (because of her good body), and the drunk guys were drooling and falling all over themselves. As alcohol flowed, hormones raged.

This particular girl was quite curvy, not thin. She wore super tight jeans, and a midriff-baring half shirt. Yes, that was the dress code in the 80’s.The young men at the party all thought she had a good body.

Apparently it was good enough to talk about, and make lewd, sexual comments about, all night long, until they eventually passed out.

These guys have since grown up, I hope, but in general, when a man talks about a woman having a good body, it’s meant as a compliment (from their skewed perspective) because they think her body is good enough to play with, and it’s ‘ripe’ for the picking.

Your body is good, period. End of story. It’s not a thing to be praised, validated, reviewed, or criticized. It is good simply because it exists. It is good because of what it does, not because of what it looks like. It certainly shouldn’t be a topic of loud conversation, unless you are in a doctor’s office. Your body is strong and powerful.

Your body just is, and it is good. It serves you, and it’s yours. It’s not for others to consume or judge.

Your body is a wonderland.

For so many reasons, your body is a magical wonderland, but not because it’s a plaything. It carries you, and protects you. Your blood, your muscles, your brain, your feet, your hands, your organs, your vagina, your skin — they are all just miraculous parts that make up the whole that is you.

Drunk guys at parties need not have an opinion about the miraculous wonderland that is your body. As John Mayer croons, “your body is a wonderland,” I can’t help but want to sit him down and ask or yell, “Really, John? Isn’t there more to your girlfriend than that?” Because the truth of the matter is there is so much more.

Your pleasure in yourself is worth so much more than his pleasure with and his acceptance of your body.

Your body is not a project.

Do you work on your body? Do you treat your body like a project? Perfection is a lie. It will never look perfect, to you or to anyone else, ever, so don’t buy into the lie.

Of course you should treat it well, and you should be trying to strengthen it, but it’s important to remember that the goal of fitness is good health, longevity, and the way it makes you feel. The intention is to treat your body with respect and love via nourishment and regular exercise.

Trying to perfect the way your body looks is a wild goose chase.

Your body is hairy and gooey.

Newsflash: women aren’t ‘bald’ all over, and healthy vaginas aren’t dry. Women are hairy and gooey. This is the way of things. Get over it. If you want to shave, go ahead and shave. That’s your business. If you want to let it grow, then let it goddamn grow. It’s yours. Own it. Braid it.

If you’re concerned about your discharge, see a doctor. But for heaven’s sake, don’t feel gross or bad or ashamed about something that is a natural part of being a woman. You, as you, with all your hair and goo, are just fine.

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