my body is offensive

an open letter to the woman who decided to body shame me at the gym during my workout –

before you felt the need to attack my body and my psyche with your words, i overheard you say that the gym is what you live for. and i’m glad. your sweat is your gold.

i understand that to someone like you, my body is offensive.

it’s the site of joys and loves most people won’t ever know.

my waist is more than enough for little arms to wrap around. children cling to it and find comfort. when they bury tear streaked faces in the softest part of my abdomen, they’re reminded — no matter what the world’s told you, right now, with me, you’re safe. this is home.

when my friends hug me, they press close to my chest. because when something’s this warm. this expansive. it’s like being held by the skies.

my love trades their ties for my thighs because what they sow here triples in growth.

i’ve judged my body more harshly than you or anyone else ever could, done more damage than your words would ever do.

and it still carries me to all of the places i need to go.

i want you to know — purpose has always lined my bones. my body’s a reflection. my skin shifts. trembles. because i am thunder. and downpours. i am seismic. eruptions. my body spills in the most offensive ways because my cup runneth over. there are blessings in each of these folds.

i know my body is offensive. controversial. majestic. alluring. ineffable. masterpieces are.