1. What are three of your best qualities?
Definitely my sensitivity. I used to struggle with being a very emotional and sensitive person; my emotions often felt like a burden that I didn’t want to carry. Even to this day it can be hard to feel things so intensely and sometimes I envy the people whose logical sides can take over in times of high emotional intensity, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to appreciate these things about myself. I think my ability to be sensitive allows me to be a good friend, partner, and care taker for the people in my community.
2. What do you love most about your body?
I love my eyes because they have sunflowers in them. My partner once told me that the flowers in my eyes defy nature by perpetually blooming and that was probably the best compliment I’ve ever gotten.
3. What are three of your worst qualities?
I can be really impulsive and if I’m in a bad mood (or just really hungry) I can be a brat, which I can't believe I’m saying because I love to deny that I can be a brat. But hey, I guess that’s some growth right there! Something I also struggle with is not seeing things through. I’m a very creative person and when I’m in the flow of things I get a lot of really cool ideas or make all these plans for myself but I don’t really know how to turn them into reality. That’s something that Pisces are known for though, so I guess I just have to work on it. I also never fold my clothes after wearing them and there’s constantly a mountain of them on my closet floor.
4. What is one part of your body you wish you loved more?
Sometimes it can be hard to appreciate my body shape. More often than not when I look at myself I just see a short, round, squishy human, but I’m working on it.
7. Describe your journey with body acceptance...
Unfortunately like most teenage girls I struggled with body image issues. I engaged in some disordered eating throughout high school and my weight fluctuated a lot and I remember being really obsessed with losing weight and being ~skinny~. I also had a hard time with my body when I became sexually active because at the time, I was only sleeping with men and I felt a lot of pressure to perform and BE sexy, rather than having that come naturally from feeling confident or empowered by sexual intimacy. That really changed for me when I started dating and being intimate with women, because I got to enter a space where I didn’t feel like I was being so harshly observed or picked at, and I instead began to feel seen and appreciated. Sleeping with women also helped me appreciate all the different body types there are, which in turn allowed me to be more forgiving with myself and my own flaws. Nowadays I still sometimes struggle with how I feel about my body, but I think that has more to do with the fact that I find it hard to set time aside to take care of it (i.e. exercising, preparing healthy meals for myself). For the most part, I’ve accepted the way I look and I’m happy with myself.
5. Do you practice self love as often as you'd like to?
No, definitely not. I go through waves when I feel very confident in my abilities and who I am as a person, but when I’m not feeling positive I can be really hard on myself which makes it difficult to practice self-love.
6. What lesson do you hope to instill to your children about self-love & body acceptance?
If I have children, I want to make sure that the focus is always on health and not on body image.
8. What about self love are you continuing to work on?
I’m learning how to set boundaries with others so that I never overextend or exhaust myself emotionally. I work in a residential program for people with mental health challenges, which can be both highly fulfilling and also extremely draining. In my personal life, I try as much as possible to be present and supportive of my friends but sometimes I forget to take time for myself and I wind up going a little insane.
11. What is something you wish you could have told yourself at your most fragile state?
To lighten the fuck up! No, but seriously, I can get super down on myself and hyper-analytical of all my behaviors which ends up making me spiral into a negative cycle of feeling depressed, and then feeling guilty for being depressed. I think I would just like to go back and remind myself not to judge myself for the ways I’m dealing with negative emotions because at the end of it all I ended up okay.
9. How do women need to improve interacting with one another?
This question brings a lot to mind… But in short, I think that the most important thing right now is that those of us who are privileged need to make sure we are doing all that we can to support and empower minorities, especially women in the LGBTQ community, women of color, women experiencing houselessness, and disabled women.
10. What is one of your qualities you wish shined brighter than your exterior appearance?