By Bailey Nelson.
I have been told to “eat a hamburger.”
I have had men pull me aside and warn me that if I lift too much or too often that I’ll lose my boobs and become too “bulky” and “manly.”
I have had people say “oh, your poor face” during difficult years of struggling with severe adult acne.
I have been taunted for physically maturing a bit faster than usual when I was younger.
I have had to squash rumors that people made up about me being pregnant in high school (when in fact, I had just let go of some self-harming habits & put on some healthy weight).
I have been told to “ease up on the carbs” and to run a bit more to get rid of excess fat.
I had a high school administrator tell my 17 year old self that I shouldn’t be allowed to wear leggings because I looked “horrible.”
I have been advised to get a boob job to “match my big butt.”
I have been asked to promote anti-cellulite cream to my readers that I love + care for (my response was “is this a joke?”).
I have been lectured on the harmful effects of beer on a female’s body.
I have heard every single reason why vegetarians and vegans are unintelligent and not making a difference AND how anyone who isn’t vegan or vegetarian is a horrible person.
I have heard people whisper harsh, hateful words as they learn that I am a yoga instructor who enjoys a burger and cheese fries with a whiskey & coke whenever I please.
So when women tell me, as they lay on their yoga mats in tears while I try to help them relax into their bodies, that I don’t understand what it’s like. What it’s like to be too “big,” or too “thin,” or too “curvy,” or riddled with cellulite on their thighs or acne on their faces, I do my best to tell them: I too, have been there, my love. I too, have felt your pain and I am here to help you heal from it. One. Breath. At. A. Time.
Regardless of what anyone has to say, we are all “that woman” at one point in our lives. We are all in this really difficult, twisted body game that society has created. But can’t we just live? Can’t we just be? Can’t we be the phenomenal beings that we are without being ridiculed and picked apart? The answer is yes. We can. Yes, YOU can.
My intention is to simply speak to each and every single one of you in a way that encourages you to nurture the gorgeous bodies that you have. Right now. Today. Tomorrow. 5 years from now. Before and after that beautiful baby of yours.
Because there is no one way to be a woman, but there are a thousand ways for us to come together and get empowered.
Bailey is a yoga instructor and writer passionate about inspiring and empowering others. She has a love for malbec, meditation, and the mountains. See what she is up to on Instagram – @spicyyogi