At all times — but especially around the new year — women are surrounded by messaging about how to become thinner. Last year I found myself wanting to exercise more and lose weight, but I was afraid I only wanted it because of social conditioning. As the author of a graphic novel with body-positive themes, I worried that if I lost weight, I would be visibly caving to patriarchal beauty standards. Eventually, I realized that I had to listen to my own body and do what felt right to me — a skill I learned from great feminist women in my life.
I am not writing this piece to be prescriptive about losing weight or not losing weight. I want to share that learning to listen to my body and hear it above the cultural narratives was difficult, but very rewarding.