why i stopped hating on my legs

I've never been a fan of my legs.

I feel so hypocritical. I began to preach body-positive thinking at an early age yet I could never stop thinking mean things about my legs. They have meat on them. All on them. And I've never liked it. Even when they feel strong (aka when I crushed my 10K with ease because I actually trained for it), they were always big. And even though they didn't jiggle as much, I still desired smaller legs.

Because I'm still a body-positive thinker, I'm not going to get into a rant of all the reasons I dislike my legs and have been found crying in change rooms or at shoe stores. This is a different story.

I have a tattoo. Well, actually I have two. But this is a story about my first. It is a big, glorious piece of art that speaks to an integral part of who I am and who's important to me (cough, my baby bro).

And it's smack-dab on my thigh.

Why did I chose to put something that, when seen, generally draws the attention of others on a place that I dislike the most? Originally, it was because I knew I would hide it easily. This was before I had finished university and I had no idea what shape my career would take. I wanted to keep my job options open, and that meant easy to cover ink. Plus, no one ever sees it anyway. My tattoo was and is for me, and I didn't get it to show to the world. It was personal. It's a memory, a story and a part of me. The only times this tattoo has been clearly visible is the day that photo was taken (which I spent with my best friend, rarely out in public) and my week in Mexico.

But my plans for my body have begun to take new shape, and there are plans for more beautiful pieces of art (sorry mom). The majority of which will take up rent on my thighs. But why?

Easy hiding is still important to me. But I have found a new appreciation for my big, thick legs. They are a beautiful blank canvas. There's a certain style of sleeve that I love and I admire bigger women with tattoos on their legs. I think its beautiful. And I realized I've been given these big legs too. And I am beginning to embrace them, because though they may not feel like an accurate reflection of who I am when they are bare, they have provided me the opportunity to embody an art I love.

So thank you universe for not giving me big-ass legs, but for giving me a wonderful canvas to express myself with.

Megan te Boekhorst