Old Body, New Body, Same Body

Michelle Hopewell

Actor/Writer at Funemployment
Black British, faith filled, curvy actress with a love for food, great music, good movies, life changing literature and awkward moments.

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It used to be that I would get mad at my slim friends for saying that they felt or looked fat even though they were slim. I couldn’t believe they would insult themselves to such a level that they would compare themselves to my fat body. I wanted desperately to be as small as them.

Now I get mad because being fat isn’t a sliding scale for how worthy or beautiful you are, and it should not be a measure of whether your body is socially acceptable according western standards of beauty.

When I think of the years wasted on wanting to have the body of the woman next to me, I feel great senses of grief, but then even that grief I learn to process and remove because I cannot spend my precious time on earth what if-ing.

Old Body, New Body, Same Body

I have written before about the flaws in transformation tuesdays and glow ups that suggest your old body is something to be dismissed, something to be embarrassed about, and reflect over in loathing.

The root and focus of transformations should come from something within the soul and spirit. The desire to connect to loving yourself at all stages because the truth is you won’t always have all the control over your body you want.

Life has a way of presenting us with circumstances that mean our narrow mindsets are to be challenged. Maybe a person will come into your life, or perhaps you will end up in a situation, that forces you to shine a light on your heart and your mind.

Something that forces you to come to terms with the fact that these bodies are but flesh and bones. They are the structure to encase something that is way more valuable than you realise.

Why place the entirety of your worth in a perception of beauty that does not exist? So much of what we tell ourselves is beautiful and loveable comes from a social construct. A profitable ideal pushed by the media and industries.

You are not solely defined by the weight or shape of your body. You are not incomplete because of your genetic makeup. Whether you build abs in minutes or store fat in seconds, what should it matter?

Do you treat your body with the respect it deserves? Do you cherish the gift of life you have been given? Do you listen to your body and care for it? Do you unconditionally support and accept the bodies you see around you?

That is what matters.

There is nothing wrong with your body of yesterday or your body of tomorrow.

If you’re using the “new you” to dismiss the validity of the old you, you have completely missed the point.

Don’t you get it? You were enough from the get go! You just told yourself otherwise. You bought into the lies that we are told and the lies we tell ourselves.

We let ourselves be blinded by online content and by our friends social media. We look at people who inspire us, or people we aspire to be like, and we are trapped in their narrative instead of being concerned about our own.

You took fiction for fact and wrapped yourself up in a deception so institutionalised you don’t even see the lifelong harm you could cause yourself.

If little 8 year old you was stood in front of you right now, would you tell her that who she is isn’t good enough? Would you dash the hope and faith of a little girls heart?

I certainly hope not.

So the woman before you and the woman you are growing to be deserves that same love. That same affection. That same attention. That same adoration.

How can you be so magnificently and intricately designed and think that you’re worthless? How can you see how uniquely wonderful you are and find ways to pile on hate and loathing?

The journey to dismantling that is gruelling and challenging. It is hard and the road often feels narrow…but don’t give up.

Either way I am standing at your roadside cheering you on! This is a road without time limits, without a list of requirements or abilities necessary.

This is a road that will make winners of us all.


Michelle Hopewell
Michelle Hopewell

Black British, faith filled, curvy actress with a love for food, great music, good movies, life changing literature and awkward moments.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram


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