Valentine’s Day is more than a day for romantic love. It’s to celebrate all types of love, from self-love, to friends and family. As Valentine’s Day is approaching, we want to send off three love letters: one to our bodies, one to our reproductive rights, and the last one to all the brave people who came before us.
Love letter to our bodies
To Our Bodies,
You are our temple, our shrine, and our home. You’re more than a number on the scale or the imperfections that defy the beauty standards. But rather, you allow us to live, to breathe in the fresh air as we feel the sun warming our skin, to sip coffee and taste the bitterness every morning, and to chase our dreams and carve out a place for us in this world.
We share the same space our entire lives. There are times when we’re not kind to you–so caught up by the impossible standards set forth by society that we hide you away under baggy clothes and pick you apart in front of the mirror. Even then, you still shelter us and keep us safe.
Again and again, we see the world trying to lay claim on you, trying to control you, telling us what we can or cannot do with you. They tell you what you should look like, that the blemishes, the wrinkles and the wondrous shape of you are wrong, simply because you don’t look like the impossible standards they have set. They say you belong to someone else, that strangers can touch you without our consent even as you flinch away from the physical contact. They build regulations and rules to dictate what goes on within you, and what grows or doesn’t grow inside you. All without any consideration of what you, of what we, want.
And yet, you give us the strength to stand up and advocate for your freedom to exist–for our freedom to just be. As we grow older together, with wrinkles and scars marking where we’ve been and what we’ve done, we will continue this journey together.
Love letter to those who came before us
To Those Who Came Before Us,
There are countless ways we can describe our gratitude to you for having paved the way for us to get the rights and freedom that we have today, but none of those would convey the gravity of what you’ve done. You were born in a time when societal pressure demanded that you be complacent and submissive, but you dared to dream of a better world.
And so you fought for it.
You spread the words to other people you knew, you convened and talked of forbidden things, and you rallied. For you. For us. Your wavering commitment and passion inspired and ignited sparks around the world, and the fire has lived on for generations to come. You helped shape the world to be more just and equitable.
Through your efforts, we have gained the right to say our body is ours–that the person who gets to decide what to do with it is us and no one else. Because of you, people have access to information and healthcare they need to make informed decisions about their bodies and their health.
You have saved countless lives.
In a world where reproductive rights still remain a heated debate, your bravery and determination serves as a reminder that we must never give up. We stand with you in solidarity, and we will carry on your legacy to ensure that every person has bodily autonomy.
Your tireless work will always be remembered and honored.
With admiration and gratitude.