This is an ode to loving myself. Being myself. Caring for myself.

Not waiting for somebody else to take care of me.

This is an ode to finally giving up padded, wired, push-up bras. Because I bought two bras yesterday that are made of cotton and don’t have any padding or wiring. The tags on them say “My first bra”. Because obviously — in this messed up, patriarchal society — comfortable bras are only meant for teenage girls. Grown women’s predetermined fate is to suffer through thick, uncomfortable bras that make your breasts sweat and painfully rub into your skin.

Bras are evil and, I’m pretty sure, were designed to demean women. 

This is an ode to not shaving when I don’t want to. And not feeling embarrassed when I lift my arms. Because a little bit of hair does not make you less attractive.

This is an ode to never saying “I can’t eat this” because it’s sugary, fatty, or whatever. I can’t remember the last time I stopped myself from eating something for those reasons only. The only time I decide to not eat a certain food is when I realise that my body does not want it. But I know plenty of women who purportedly restrict their diets because they think they need to lose weight. You won’t lose weight for good until you learn to love yourself — I know this painfully well.

This is an ode to not labelling myself. To not defining myself as “straight” and then wondering if finding some women sexually attractive makes me a liar. Because most women are bisexual. And if this is news to you, then your friends’ circle needs to be more honest and open with each other.

This is an ode to not looking at others to decide where I should be at this stage of my life. To not thinking that somebody finding my friend more attractive means I’m less worthy overall. If this happened to you, brace. For every person out there that is more interested in your friend, there is another person who would find more value in your company. And if that person is not in a visible vicinity right now, it does not mean they do not exist.

There’s only one version of you in this entire world. And if I did not fully understand what “be yourself” means until around three years ago, now I don’t understand what not being myself is.