We Are All Unruly

The body on the other side of self-hatred

Keah Brown
Gay Mag

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TThis is the first time that I am writing about my body from the other side.

At 15, I came home from school and marked all of my “problem” areas with a marker before crying myself to sleep. The marks began with my chubby cheeks, expansive forehead, and my nonexistent belly fat and ended with my right arm and its bent fingers and my right hip and leg. By the time I finished pointing out my problems, there was no unmarked space left. I was my first tormentor, eager to hate my body as much as I believed the world did. This hatred was a thing that the world and I had in common. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, as the saying goes. I knew hatred and self-pity like the back of my hand; we moved in sync, like a carefully choreographed dance routine. Together, we were destructive, tearing ourselves and our self-worth down. Admitting that there is comfort in pain is a strange but necessary truth. Happiness and acceptance still take more work for me, and that is also a necessary truth. The art of actually trying when you spent years sitting and marveling in the pain you inflicted on yourself is a whole new ballgame.

This other side of self-hatred is appreciation, care, and positive affirmation, and it is new territory — the cute new shoes that hurt because they haven’t been worn in yet. There is so…

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Keah Brown
Gay Mag

Keah Brown is a journalist and freelance writer. Her work has appeared in Glamour Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, and more.