“I like my body because it’s magic”

By the age of 13, 53 percent of girls say they are unhappy with their bodies. When were they happy? In order to find out, Marie C. photographed and interviewed girls between the ages of four and eight and asked them what they liked about their bodies. These girls share wisdom the rest of us have forgotten.

“What do you like about your body?”

6 year old Bayan

“I like that I can move with it. I like that eyelashes are long. I like that my skin is half white and half brown. I like that my hair can shake.” – 6-year-old Bayan

5 year old Cherae

“I like my eyes. It changes colors and I can see everything. I like my legs too. They are very long.” –  5-year-old Cherae

7 year old Kayla

“I like my hair because my hair is long!” -  7-year-old Kayla

6 year old Laila

“I like my hands they help draw.” –  6-year-old Laila

4 year old Layla

 “My whole body I love I love.” – 4-year-old Layla

9 year old Lana

“Something I like about my body is how fast I can run, and how healthy I am.” – 9-year-old Lana

“I like my body because it’s magic.” - 5-year-old Sofia (aka Lola)

 

“I like my body. I like my eyes because they help me see different things. I also like my hands because they help me write different things. I also like my feet because they help me walk and have fun. My name is Jeniah and I’m 8-years-old!- 8-year-old Jeniah

“What do you like about your body?”

“Nothing.”

“I don’t like anything.”

But then one minute later, Layla, 4, changes her mind and decides that she “likes everything”. She then draws herself as a princess with long hair and no longer wants to talk about the “I don’t like anything” part of her answer.

A few young girls already have the love/hate relationship with their bodies that we grown-ups often have: the good days, the bad days, and not just the hair ones.

Girls under ten are already very aware of their bodies and what they like, ranging from feet to hands, hair, and boobies. All of them think about their bodies in terms of practicality: their bodies are tools, with the possibility to do so many things: draw, write, see, walk, run, dance. No one is saying “my body is beautiful”. And it is this utilitarian approach that women tend to completely overlook : taking for granted all the things that our bodies can do and instead worrying about things like cellulite, love handles, flappy upper arms, and grey hair.

After the sun explodes, when we all have to leave Earth for Pluto, will we care more that we can write or that the tops of our thighs have cellulite?

 By Marie C. 

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