On the weekend, nothing moves me more than catching up with all the great pieces I’ve missed during the 9-to-5 whirlwind.
CupOfJo are curating a series of personal essays by women who write. I was able to catch up on this short personal essay by Ashley Ford [a writer, editor and public speaker. She is currently writing a memoir, and works as a senior features writer at Refinery29]. The piece explores body image and gender, namely in heterosexual relationships. This passage particularly struck me:
We fell in love a thousand miles, and one time zone, apart. We read each other’s favorite books, sent each other care packages, and he texted me every morning to say he hoped I was having a great day. We talked about our fears and insecurities. For the first time ever, I told someone — whom I wanted to be attracted to my body — just how unattractive I actually felt. He said, “It’s not a body’s job to be perfect. It’s to keep you alive. I love your body for keeping my favorite person alive. Please, don’t hide it from me.”
Maya Angelou says, “Love liberates. It does not bind.” Before Kelly, “love” always looked like fixing myself the right way, so someone could bring themselves to love me. Being perfectly shaved, perfectly thin, and perfectly presentable. Now, I know real love makes room for you to love yourself the way you are, and the way you want to be.
A feel-good story, the piece is peppered with honest, personal yet relatable insights into how many women live their lives trapped by visual expectations and is thankfully not derailed by some sort of sordid revelation. It’s a real pleasure to read about unadulterated personal growth and acceptance of oneself; a happy ending in itself.