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  • Writer's pictureTalia Cooper

What I Want to Tell My Grandkids

This is the conversation I hope to have with my hypothetical grandchildren in 2071:

Hypothetical GrandKids (HGKs): What did you used to do for work, Grandma?

Me: I was a body liberation coach. I worked with people who wanted to build a better relationship with their body and with food.

HGKs: Why did you do that?

Me: Because I used to struggle with negative body image, and it was rough. I was so grateful when I finally learned the tools to love myself, so I wanted to share them with others.

HGKs: What's a negative body image?

Me: You don’t know what negative body image is??

HGKs: ummmm…???

Then I’d remember: It’s 2071! People don’t struggle with body image anymore - that’s why I'm super retired!

So then I’ll start to explain to my grandkids how it used to we lived in an unimaginative world where everyone was supposed to try to look the same; how there were systems like racism, classism, ableism, sexism, and fatphobia that ranked people and harmed our humanity. How people got so confused they lashed out with hate and violence and laws that restricted bodily autonomy… But then we’ll be interrupted by a neighbor coming by with a vat of fresh-made strawberry ice cream (because in 2071, people are always making ice cream and sharing it with neighbors).

I know we’re far from this vision. This week I’ve been especially gut-wrenched by the violence that abounds in our society. That’s why I always keep this goal in my mind while coaching individuals and facilitating groups; to build a world without oppression. A world where we’re all free and get to finally just live in our bodies.

Some days all I can do is grieve, or feel numb. Other days I rage against everything that’s wrong. But always I try to hold close to the vision of the world I want.

What do you hope for– for yourself, for the world?

If you lived in a world without oppression, how would you feel in your body?

What’s the first thing you would do?

Feel free to respond. I’m listening. And one day, I’ll tell my hypothetical grandkids what we talked about.


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