By Maria Nilsson

Beauty Love.

To make love unrelenting, to make it wrapped and entire - for you to give in to its enormity organically, wilfully, is to, love you. And what that means for you, is also up to you. Love is not the same for everyone, like our bodies, perceptions, choices, definitions - are not the same. If you love the way one part of you looks, but don’t like another part, and you’re okay with that, that’s still love. In your form. Your acceptance. Its your experience of love, your very own.

In an another time we didn’t know what body image was, what it mean to be naked, clothed - what vulnerabilities or self acceptance were or meant, we coined these terms that were birthed through feelings of suffering. The world got older, technologies were invented, words and images and thoughts were transferred all around the globe for all to access and see, and then to judge. Form an opinion on. Judgement gave us insecurities, insecurities we suffered through which prompted work and healing, self exploration and digging deeper, lurching our minds and bodies through trauma to understand that anyones opinion of you is entirely insignificant. But, overall, this journey has been good for us, challenging and enlightening, we were never so vulnerable, so insecure, so self critical of our skin, it was all so new, there was so much to look at and feel, and form opinions on. This challenged our mental gateways to what we think about ourselves, comparisons, comparing ourselves to society’s definition of beauty. This has allowed room for thought, as the discomfort of these feelings allowed us to understand that differences beauty and acceptance is love. Beauty love. 

When you think of all the things we admire, appreciate, love and deem beautiful in the world, it is mostly because of the abnormalities, the variance, the contrasts, take nature - the caramel sand and black rocks against the green foliage, ocean, slightly clean, rainy, sunny, trees all sizes - our breasts, falling naturally, feeding babies, nipple hair, dark or fair, against our full bellies, freckly chests, awkward toes, all sizes - these are the same things. Our bodies is our Nature. Our bodies, and nature is a beautiful argument of variance and colour and feeling and bumps and dots and experiences. That’s what beauty and love is, it’s celebrating what natural physique we have been gifted. 

This is an ode to loving yourself, remembering that you are the running creeks and the flowering shrubs. Your friends are your soil, they are your water, oxygen, they help you in this journey through self love and self-realisation. Love yourself. Make love to yourself. Whatever that means in your very own way. Love you. 

Words by Daini Stephenson

Photos by Ming Nomchong