I remember being in the fifth grade with a chest that already fit comfortably into a 36D bra. I remember even more clearly the day that the woman in Victoria’s Secret told me I was a DD and I made some wise crack about being in “double-d denial” before bursting into tears.
I remember taking notes in little notebook. I scrawled lose weight, grow hair, learn how to put on make-up, wear high heels across the pages.
I remember being followed home by older men who commented on my body under their breath, making me feel like my curves were dirty and dangerous.
I remember choosing that I wasn’t my body. That I was more than my body.
In retrospect I realize that in that moment, I severed the tie between my head and my shoulders – leaving my body, a woman’s body, behind.
I remember declaring myself a feminist, and still quietly feeling afraid that my brave ideas would be rejected if I wasn’t hot like Gloria Steinem.
For too many years, I didn’t feel feminine, because I considered my body too clumsy, too unwieldy, and unfit for consumption.
I was a woman, but I felt silent. Silenced.
I was a woman, but I was terrified of being judged by other women.
Of being too much. Of not being enough. Of never quite fitting in.
I equated femininity with a thing that I would get to be when I was better. I couldn’t rectify being in my body without objectifying myself. I couldn’t resolve my wild, feral femininity with the glossy pages of magazines that I bought every time I stood in line at the grocery store.
I never considered the fact that my definition of what it meant to be a woman was simply too narrow to contain all of my magnificence.
It took time and it required granting myself permission to receive my own radiant love before I could begin to hold these seemingly irreconcilable parts of myself in my tender hands.
Learning how to love and trust myself has meant reclaiming my femininity. It has meant repairing the connection between my mind and the soft flesh of my body. It has meant deep healing and defining femininity on my own terms.
I remember the exact moment when joyfully embodied my own divine femininity for the first time. In that moment, I could feel myself deepening into my power and softening to surrender.
In that moment, I was ancient mama love.
I am a woman with a curvy body, a wild nature, and a story to tell.
I know that there are women out there, like me, who have felt like outsiders. Women who shun female friendships or eschew the sacred nature of their bodies, while simultaneously (secretly) pressing their faces against the glass, desperately wanting to be a part of things.
To those women, I want to say: You are a part of things. There is a home for you here. You belong to yourself.
The relationship that you have with yourself is deeper than feathers and crystals and moon phases. It is about allowing your heart to be cracked wide open by your truths – and defining your femininity on your own terms.
Your femininity is not about how you look. It is about who you are.
It is not about what you can achieve. It is about how you want to live.
It is not about keeping yourself small. It is about pouring more of yourself into every nook and cranny of your life.
It is about what you love, what lights you up like a mega-watt bulb. It is about allowing yourself to be seen – allowing other women to circle around you and lift you up. It is about honoring your own truths and living in accordance to your own rhythms.
It is about you – about all of your many parts, coexisting with love and trust.
And yes, you deserve that.