Dear Body,

Firstly, thanks so much for your care and patience.

If I were you, I would’ve packed up and left me a long time ago because of all the nonsense I put you through.

I was indifferent about you in my pre-teen years because I was a kid. I was more concerned with playing with my friends and watching cartoons.

I became cognizant of you when I turned 12 and you decided that it was time for me to get my first period and take into consideration that wearing a bra was to be a constant feature in my life.

Adolescence was a turbulent time for you and me. We were both changing so rapidly and trying to find our feet in the world, and along the way, we weren’t the best of friends. I hated the fact that you allowed excessive oil to live on my face. I was angry with you that you did nothing to stop the horrible-looking pimples that invaded my face.

I didn’t like your light in complexion black skin, which attracted so much unwanted attention to me. The golden tones of your skin rendered me not black or pretty enough in the black community, but not white enough to be accepted in the white community. I never thought that I would be a site of socio-political discussion as if I were a concept and not a human being.

I tried to change you by wearing lots of make-up to hide the acne and using self-tanning lotion to brown our skin. But you protested against such by making the pimples on my face look like boils and making me look like I had jaundice from the excessive use of self-tanning lotion.

We came to some sort of consensus after the age of 18.

I started to accept the complexion of our black skin and the pimples disappeared. However, I disliked that you were a female body and not a male one. You became the site of harassment from unwarranted sexual advances and body shaming.

You were viewed as a site of hypersexuality and arguments about what constitutes as beauty so much so that I hid you behind baggy clothes in an attempt to escape femininity and become a man.

That failed, and I decided to learn to love you the way you are. I had to let go of the notions that you were merely an unpretty object that exists for the benefit of everyone around you, and I made an effort to take better care of you.

I now feed you the correct foods and give you some exercise because it’s healthy for you and me. I take you to the doctor often for check-ups, and I tell you often that you are beautiful, and that you are enough.

I know that your health is my health, and I’m done taking you for granted.

I love you and will do right by you until you decide to lead us home.
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