Guest Post: I Am More Than My Body with Emily Johnson

It's been a long time since I've had a guest post on here, but I'm incredibly excited to share this one in particular today. My friend Emily and I met in college, and we immediately bonded over a shared love of reading blogs and thrifting while surrounded by a sea of apathetic fashion merchandising students. Emily is one of those people who is charming and delightful to everyone she meets, myself included. So when she contacted me about looking for a platform to share this short essay she wrote, I wanted to help for a few reasons: 1. Emily is one of the most genuinely kind and creative people I've ever known, 2. She is a captivating writer, and 3. The contest she originally wrote this for is for inspiring retreat, and it (along with Emily's words) is something that I fully support. So now, please meet and become absolutely endeared my beautiful friend Emily.

Greetings and Salutations!

I’m Emily Johnson. And before you fall in love with me, I don’t have a blog for you to stalk like I assume most guest posters do. So, if you like what I say…that’s awesome. And I like you for liking it! You’re seriously cool. But unfortunately I’M not as cool or put together as my g-friend Elana to have the talent to create something like this. I just like to write. So, I wrote something for you. Well, technically I wrote something as an entry for this contest I’m entered in (you see what I’m getting at here...) Yes, this is kind of a shameless plug for you to vote for me in my dream-come-true contest. But at the same time, it’s really, really not. I wrote this essay by mistake, thinking the contest sought a 500 word submission. Funny story: 500 words and 500 characters are two VERY different things. Anyway, so I’m writing this essay all weekend only to find out it’s going nowhere. And this saddened me. So I said, ‘HEY ELANA. I’ve got something to say and nowhere to say it. Remember when we were friends in college? You still like me right?’ And, because Elana is a SAINT (seriously, you guys…this girl is unreal IRL), she let me guest post. And that’s the drawn out story of why I’m talking to you right now. Thanks for listening. And if you’ve made it this far, I encourage you to keep reading — because it only gets better from here.

Here is my message for you today. It's about misinterpretation. It's about understanding. And most importantly — it's about loving your ridiculously beautiful, powerful, badass, womanly body.

I am more than my body.

You may see this as an unremarkable realization and if so, I admire your strength in the face of modern adversity. Because though it may seem like an indisputable notion to many, and though my perpetually blithe demeanor conceals the injury — my self-image has taken a beating. In a digital dating age where potential suitors cloaked in distance and a lack of repercussion remark solely on your body, it’s difficult to remember your emotional and intellectual worth. These remarks, said with intention to compliment, miss their mark every time. Instead these venomous misconceptions seep into the psyche, slowly poisoning one's self-image, and remolding it into the projection of another’s sexual interest. Our personal worth becomes based on our ability to physically appeal. We are objectified and, in turn, we begin to identify with the object. We point to the flaws that we believe, if removed, would make us more sexually appealing.

But the truth is: we have no physical flaws — the flaw is in our perspective.

Society has taught us that to be desired we must modify our bodies, sometimes by taking drastic measures. Why is this? After all, who decided that skinny meant beautiful? That things needed to be concealed by concealer? That body hair was unhygienic and unattractive? I mean, shit – who are these almighty determiners of beauty? Because I’d like to have a word with them…followed by more words and a swift slap to the face.

In reality, my body is nothing but a vessel. A beautifully unique vessel. A physical place to store my metaphysical being. The way I look shouldn’t determine my worth when the way I look has little to do with who I am or what I have to offer the world. My body should be celebrated as an addition to my beauty, not as the reason for it.

And that is why I am so eager to be a part of Elizabeth’s ‘Wildbride’ project. I want to celebrate my body for the first time in this new light. To be in the wilderness among bitchin’, like-minded ladies who will support these beliefs and provide further empowerment. I have been ashamed of what is nothing more than the tangible representation of myself for too long, and it’s time I embraced the truth: I am SO MUCH more than my body.

Thank you for reading. If this resonated with you at all, then I’ve done what I came to do.

And if you dig my vibes, please send a vote my way. I’d really appreciate it!

Maybe see you again?


  1. I really, really, really like this essay!

    I think there's a really important discussion to be had about the difference, perhaps even tension, between the two ideas of "I am not my body" and "I AM my body." On the one hand, essays like this one demonstrate that people are what's in their minds, actions, spirits. And if one is religious, the idea that the soul or spirit trumps the "vessel" might be key to one's philosophy.

    But there's also something to be said for the idea that we *are* very much our bodies, and that those bodies are wonderful, precious, important things. I don't think this is incompatible with your message -- because we don't have to cater to what culture and society demands from us to treat our own physical forms with love. Bodies do incredible things for us, no matter the shape or appearance or how pleasing to society -- they enable us to eat, think, walk, enjoy the world with our senses, communicate, love, touch, and give us a canvas upon which we can express ourselves.

    I'm in no way arguing with your message or saying it's not a valuable one -- I think there's a sort of yin and yang to the two ideas, and I like them both. :) Thanks for the thought provoking essay!!!

    1. Sorry, also I realized that your phrasing was "I am more than my body." Much better than my misquote -- demonstrates the balance better.

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