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  • Writer's pictureTalia Cooper

The Truth About Body Liberation

Body love is both personal and political.

It’s personal because it’s about how I feel when I look in the mirror, how I treat myself and how I treat the people around me.

It’s political because bodies are the site of oppression. It’s political because it’s about what we’ve been taught by an oppressive society.

Some of the lies I was told about my body:

  • That my white body is superior to other bodies

  • That my female body doesn’t belong to me

  • That my body’s worth is in my productivity

  • That my cisgender identity is what is normal

  • That my thin body is superior to fat bodies, and I should do everything possible to stay thin or get thinner

The list goes on.

But here are some of the truths I believe that are also at the heart of body liberation work:

  • No body is better or worse

  • All bodies deserve respect, love and care

  • All of us are inherently worthy

  • It is our birthright to get to love and be in relationship with our bodies

There is a war on bodies right now, on Black and Brown bodies in particular. It is called white supremacy. It is not new, but my heart is breaking in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Monterrosa, and too many others. Lives stolen, by white people and white systems. As a person with white skin privilege, I have a role to play (as we all do) in ending white supremacy, in ending the oppression of bodies, and bringing about liberation for all people.

I believe that we can (and must) end the systems of white supremacy. We saw how quickly the world adapted when COVID-19 hit. Our fossil fuel usage declined rapidly. We helped each other learn to use online tools. We learned what mattered. Change is possible. Just this week we saw the Minneapolis City Council pledge to defund and dismantle the police department and instead invest in community forms of safety (Thank you to the many Black, Brown and Indigenous organizers who led the way!!). Change is coming. We can build towards true body liberation for all people, and I’m glad we’re in it together.

If you’re looking for ways to support the Movement for Black Lives, I’ve been using this website to help guide some of my actions.


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