To the Woman at the Swimming Pool with the “Perfect Body”: A Poem

An ode to summer…

 

To the Woman at the Swimming Pool with the “Perfect Body”

 

The water glistens and ripples

Pool blue and inviting

I see your body and immediately feel shame

On a deep level I know it is nothing about you

But about me and my body-mind game

 

That it will never be good enough

That I will never be good enough

I sit and dwell

And stew

 

The way I perceive my body

If you only knew

Do I need to change me

To be more like you?

 

Losing focus on why I am there

The love I have of swimming and treading and kicking

That I feel free when I do so

My muscles tensing and retracting

My legs pushing me from one end to the other

 

For the moments that I focus on you

And what I project

I lose sight of all of that

Of what really matters

 

You have no idea the power you hold

Or that we have placed on you

All of us with bodies that we deem “flawed”

(and maybe that’s you…too?

I really have no idea what you’re going through)

Or that society says are askew

 

The pain of countless souls

A communal weeping

I place all of this onto you

 

You don’t deserve that

I don’t deserve that

No one, No body deserves that

The messages that we receive are the villains

And try to be the thief of joy

 

Comparison is the thief of joy

 

And yet all of us can relate

To that thought that says

I must change

There’s something wrong with me

Lose weight

But only in the “right” areas

Then you will truly love yourself

 

Thin is “in”

Fat is “out”

Where do you fall?

Try to catch the moving needle

Of body image ideals

It will never stop

You will never win

 

Now I look at you

I look at all of us at the pool

Men women kids babies

Laughing

Splashing

 

And I feel anger

Anger at the power of body shame

And judgmental standards

 

Power

Rises up in my throat

Like a ravenous flame

A fight to change the dialogue

All bodies are good bodies

We all deserve the same

 

And I dive into the cool refreshing pool

Holding my breath

 

 

-name withheld

 

#healthateverysize #bodyacceptance #selfacceptance

#bodyimage  #recovery #advocacy

#eatingdisorderrecovery

#enjoythedamnpool