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Me, My Body And Masculinity

Me, My Body And Masculinity

My body harbors scars I’m not afraid to speak about.

From my teeth to my back. It’s a museum. With endless stories.

I grew up being violated and meant to believe violence was a mark of love. And I guess, it’s part of the reason some people say “we were beaten but turned out okay”.

I didn’t.

My brain suffered later after the beatings stopped. The body keeps the score as Bessel van der Kolk puts it.

The tremors manifested in depression, post traumatic stress and anxiety. Which I had to battle since I was 15 to about 30. I don’t know how I survived those years. The triggers still come but I have more control over them now. Like I can’t stand the smell of beer since dad was a monster when he came home drunk. It registers danger.

We may not know how childhood violence of any nature affected us. But look at how we hate our bodies. How we constantly judge each other from appearance. How the politics of likeability largely pegs on your looks. How we constantly seek approval and validation from without. We hate our bodies.

Capitalism abuses our bodies. We go to suicidal lengths to satisfy our desires to forget our pain. Anything that’ll help us forget the trauma registered in our bodies.

Yet, until you come home to yourself you’ll never really settle. If there’s anything that has kept me here this long, it’s that I accepted my body. With its many imperfections. I loved it. I stopped being afraid of it. I cherish it. I nourish it. I pleasure it. I stopped defining beauty from social standards. I became beauty to me. The way I wanted it.

This especially goes to men. We have to stop relying on women’s bodies to feel good about ours. Your body carries all your secret codes. It’s a magic spell. Protect and nurture it. Oil it. However damaged it may be, it is still your Garden of Eden.

You’ll never know who you are if you’re constantly running from yourself. If you never stay still and be curious about your mind, body and soul. If you’re always looking for peace and adoration from the outside world while your inner child screams for attention.

Flaunt your body
Touch your body
Feed your body
Love your body

Onyango Otieno

Onyango Otieno is a cultural designer ardent in maximizing the power of storytelling for healing and connection. Onyango believes in the potent spirit of humanity collectively creating safe spaces for interaction, development, business and movement, for a more cohesive world.

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