I wouldn’t say I have good self-esteem, but I generally have good don’t-give-a-damn. That is, while I don’t think I’m amazing, and I know other people don’t think I’m amazing, I just don’t care.
Sometimes that cracks, though, and in being reminded of all the ways in which I do not socially measure up, I start to feel heavy. I feel like a failure, like I’m just not enough, in any way.
I’m not skinny. I’m not pretty. I’m not cis. I’m not straight. I’m not able-bodied. I’m not neurotypical. I’m not I’m not I’m not.
I feel all this weight because no matter how hard I rage against the social standards of what makes someone attractive and good, I’ve still been raised with that same insidious ideal as everyone else. It’s burned into the back of my skull, lurking behind my logic, my opinion, even my instinct, to tell me that I’m wrong, and I’m unworthy.
This is part of why I fight. I fight for people like me, especially those even further behind me in terms of self-acceptance. I fight for the fat girls, for the trans boys, for the queer kids, for the disabled enbies, for everyone still struggling to find who they are and love that person. I fight to dismantle the systems that sear these images into our minds, making us second-guess everything that makes us unique and fascinating. I fight to recreate what humanity sees as beautiful, as worthy.
And it is in that fight that I start to feel amazing.