Every now and then, one comes across something – be it a song, painting, poem or article – so poignant that it resonates in the innermost parts of the heart for a long time. Margaret Cho’s “Being Mad on Twitter” is one such piece for me. Written as a response to her body being criticised, it engages with the scars (both physical and emotional) of being considered ugly and, therefore, inferior. But more important, and perhaps most inspiring, is Cho’s love and acceptance of herself and others:
I grew up hard and am still hard and I don’t care. I did not choose this face or this body and I have learned to live with it and love it and celebrate it and adorn it with tremendous drawings from the greatest artists in the world and I feel good and powerful like a nation that has never been free and now after many hard won victories is finally fucking free. I am beautiful and I am finally fucking free.
I fly my flag of self esteem for all those who have been told they were ugly and fat and hurt and shamed and violated and abused for the way they look and told time and time again that they were ‘different’ and therefore unlovable. Come to me and I will tell you and show you how beautiful and loved you are and you will see it and feel it and know it and then look in the mirror and truly believe it. If you are offended by my anger and my might at defending my borders and my people you do not deserve entry into my beloved and magnificent country.
When someone says something negative about my face or body I will always and forever just completely lose my shit, because I have so much hatred in me, a violence that lies just beneath the surface of my delightfully illustrated skin. Being called ugly and fat and disgusting to look at from the time I could barely understand what the words meant has scarred me so deep inside that I have learned to hunt, stalk, claim, own and defend my own loveliness and my image of myself as stunningly gorgeous with a ruthlessness and a defensiveness that I fear for anyone who casually or jokingly questions it, as my anger and rage combined with my intense and fearsome command of words create insults meant to maim, kill and destroy.
I want to defend the children that we still are inside, the fragile sensitive souls who no matter how much we tried were still told we were not good enough. I want to make the world safe and better and happy for us. We deserve beauty, love, respect, admiration, kindness and compassion. If we don’t get it, there will be hell to pay. I am no saint, but I am here for you and me. I am here for us, and I am doing the best I can.
(The entire post is definitely worth a read, by the way.)
This post hits me in more ways than I can name, and I hope that whoever is reading this right now becomes empowered too. You are beautiful in every way. If you cannot believe that now, I hope you someday will.