Do not tell me to respect my body by crossing my legs, keeping my knees together, my skirts long and my treatment of my body within your framework.
I respect my body by doing what I please with it.
I respect my body by loving it and all of the things it allows me to do.
I respect my body by being kind to the parts I sometimes don’t enjoy.
I respect my body by understanding that it is my body and is no more or less beautiful than any other.
I respect my body by not being afraid of it.
I respect my body by challenging it with running and dancing.
I respect my body by dressing it in the clothes I see fit and refusing to acknowledge that by societal standards stripes and hounds-tooth clash.
I respect my body by wearing short skirts when I so desire.
I respect my body by wearing sweat pants when I so desire.
I respect my body by recognizing and asserting that it is mine, not society’s, not the patriarchy’s, not catcallers’, not harassers’, not slut-shamers’, exactly no one’s but mine.
And if you can’t see the beauty in someone taking ownership of what has been and will be theirs all of their life (even though the world will tell them otherwise), perhaps you need to gain a little respect.
I already respect my body.
It’s time you start respecting it too.