War Zone

Art by Natalie Weinberg

My body is a war zone.

Sickly red poppies bloom along the expanse of my thighs, ocean waves rolling against the cellulite I was taught to hate, to sail away from as people tell me to keep my ships of self love anchored.
The rolls of my stomach lap over each other like prisoners contained in fabric, so desperate to spill out from their confines and be free from a crime they did not commit.
The tops of my legs touch in a no mans land that no one wants to invade and distant voices shout that I am not going to win this fight.
My body is a battleground because I have been taught that what I am is not to be loved but there is still fight left in this vessel.
Poppies will wither and fade leaving traces of scarred petals on my skin, pale and glistening.
The waves of my cellulite will roar unapologetic and loud, a tsunami of strength silenced by no man.
The soft delicate rolls of my stomach will breed love and warmth, a picture of health and comfort in cold winter nights that I will not hide.
The tops of my legs will touch because they are so full of love they cannot keep apart and I will not validate my worth by my desirability. I will not let my thick muscle and soft flesh halt my ability to be beautiful; they will help me run from negative self talk.
Yes, my body is a war zone.
But this war I will most definitely win.
— Lucy-Ellen, 19.

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