In response to the anonymous tumblr question:

In response to the anonymous tumblr question:

Don’t you think that if you preach “love your body even if you’re obese” you’re encouraging an unhealthy lifestyle?

Short answer: No.

Medium answer: What people do with their bodies – healthy or unhealthy – is none of your fucking business. It’s not your body. Do whatever you want with your body. Worry about your body. My 9 year olds get this. I don’t understand where your cognition is being interrupted.

Long answer:

A body is a complicated thing

The very construction of a body is a Rube-Goldberg-miracle

Millions of systems working themselves opus so that I can

complete the most minute and simple tasks

Like click open my inbox with the intricate highway of carpal nerves

Worry my gut raw in nervous anticipation of attack

All of the muscles required to roll my eyes, again, at the lack of identity

behind your personal and invasive request

You are being responded to by a complex and beautiful machine and

I hope you treat this answer with the respect it deserves

Bodies, dear anonymous, should be healthy.

Should be fit.

Health, an important and glowing rhetoric that people have

learned to swallow like a too-large pill – something that

cannot be determined based upon presentation alone

Something that does not fit square peg into square hole

quite the way you have been led to believe

Fitness, regarding the biological definition, a trait that

exists to increase the chances of an organism’s survival

Both important things

But bodies do not body in flesh and sinew alone

My message, dear anonymous tumblr human, is not

“love your body even if you’re obese”

My message is simply – love your body.

Love your body exactly as it is.

Love your body because it has never done anything

but vessel you, hold you in and break you open

at exactly the right times

Love your body even when it is broken

Love your body even when it doesn’t look like bodies

that are commonly celebrated

Love your body because it is celebration

Love your body because illness can be conjured, can be manifested

Love your body because any good thing you do for your body

comes from believing that your body is worthy of good things

Love your body because it will never be heavier or more

difficult to carry than hate for your own reflection

Love your body because if you do not, you will never truly

allow it to be loved by other bodies

Love your body because it is the truest act of peace, to bring

harmony between your heart and your limbs

Between your spirit and your flesh

Between your mind and your unquestioned, swallowed truth

Love your body because your quiet should be shelter,

not executioner

Love your body because it is a symphony in flux

Because it is not the same as it was yesterday and it will

not be the same tomorrow but it is still a worthy thing

Love your body because it gives other bodies permission to love themselves

Love other’s bodies because you do not know how far they have come when

their path intersects with yours

Love other’s bodies because sometimes they have been forced

through a kind of hell you cannot imagine

Love other’s bodies because.

Because we all have bodies

Because all we are trying to do is ensure our survival

Because we cannot subsist on fear, on brow-beating

Because any change made on the back of shame

is a change that never presents in truth

But change made in love infects every cell

Transforms

Evolves into something beautiful

Something healthy

Love your body because it is the most radical act of revolution

Love your body because it is your body.

Your Body.

YOUR body.

And what you do with YOUR body is nobody’s fucking business

But yours.

Melissa May is a Youth-In-Crisis worker, ex-preacher, body positivity/body justice activist, cat-call devourer, general unraveler of the patriarchy, and salty feminist sass-mouth. She has been a competitive spoken word artist since 2008, and has been both a multi-time Women of the World Poetry Slam finalist as well as the 3rd ranked poet in the world at the Individual World Poetry Slam in 2012. Melissa is a reclamation specialist – focused inwardly and outwardly on body and language reclamation. A large portion of her work focuses on the body and the language we use culturally to speak to and about our bodies. Her newly released book, SparkleFat, hones in on and challenges the ways in which we formulate thought and idea around aspects of our body we have been taught to be ashamed of. Melissa is a fierce and dedicated lover of people. She doesn’t mind if you look, really.

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