I don’t want to be part of the culture anymore, where we need to look a certain way.

#fitbody #fitgirl #fitboy …

Hashtags with hundreds of thousands of hits. Mothers who bring their children to school in running clothes so they can optimally align having the perfect body with running a household and having a job.

Getting up early and cutting sleep to get to the gym before work.

Diet books, pills, shakes, skinny white bodies wherever you go.

But also: Men who tell me I’m intimidating because I am so tall. Who tell me I’m not their type based on not fitting the image of the skinny, tiny girl. Which is okay when it’s their honest preference, many people are not my type either. But more often it seems to be about the taught model of looks.

I’m fed up with feeling insecure because of not fitting in that model. I tried, gosh I’ve tried. I always felt I was too big, too much, too fat. Tried many diets out there. (Hilarious fun fact: none of them made me lose an ounce. The only factor of influence still seems to be feeling happy, going for regular walks, and not eating too much chocolate).

I’m fed up with people being surprised when beyond their first judgments about me, they love my body, my looks, my sensuality, and my comfort in my body and my sex.

I don’t want to be part of a culture anymore that shames certain looks, whether this is about race, bodyweight or length, or size of muscles and flatness of a belly.

I want to be healthy, in decent shape, and make conscious choices of what I eat (all as organic and unprocessed as possible). But I don’t want to spend most of my day trying to fit another exercise sequence into my schedule.

Be fit and go to a gym when it makes you happy – but not when it’s part of fashion and peer pressure. To me, judgment on size has become a selection criterium. You find me too white, too big, too tall, too intimidating? Cool. Then please go. Come to a workshop where you can sit at a safe distance and you know I won’t flirt with you if you are curious about me. I have (very) white skin, striae, some cellulite, a curved belly, a red nose because of skin disease. I gave birth three times. This body has been through a lot. I’m getting so tired of a culture that pushes me, and so many others, to stress about my looks.

What if we started accepting again that bodies look like bodies do? That life changes us, that women aren’t meant to be toned unless we are toned (because some of us do have that body type), that men don’t have a six-pack unless they have a physically demanding job (and again, if working out makes you happy and you have the time and resources for it, by all means, go for it!), that pregnancies, aging, and other major life events leave their marks…

Photo by the beautiful Moira van Damme