Sign our Body Bill of Rights
Sign your name, city and the date to our Body Bill of Rights:
Promise to remember that:
1. My body has the right to exist.
My body is my soul’s greatest ally. She houses every emotion, memory and experience without judgement or abandonment. Every day that I am alive is a testament to her loyalty. It also comes with the responsibility to allow others’ bodies to exist – to honour other women whether they are thinner or larger, more beautiful or less attractive than myself.
2. My body has the right to be heard.
My body knows things that my mind cannot fathom. My stomach can tell the difference between the truth and a lie. My chest opens up when I speak loving words and tightens with words of anger. Both joy and pain invite tears to fall from my eyes and afterwards I am left feeling more human. Intuition speaks through the body. The more I listen, the more I marvel at her wisdom.
3. My body has the right to bleed without shame, secrecy or fear.
My body produces miracles all the time. Shrouded in euphemisms, women’s blood is often seen as an inconvenience that requires management. It is the ultimate taboo. Menstruation is a reminder of the creative nature of the female body, without which life would perish. How astonishing is it that humans devalue what we need most to survive?
4. My body has the right to be loved and honoured.
Imagine a world in which women are encouraged to celebrate the intricate workings of our bodies. My body knows that safe sex at an appropriate age and in an appropriate context is healthy and fun. My body enjoys being loved, appreciated and respected. Sex has the ability to do damage in the wrong context, but also to heal and transform. It expresses that which words could never say.
5. My body has the right to freedom from violence.
My body was not built to be abused or assaulted. It does not deserve to be touched or entered without my permission. My body was not designed to be a terrain for warfare, be it physical, emotional or psychological. The uniqueness of my body does not warrant comparisons to artificial constructions of what a woman should be. This too is a form of abuse. My body was not created for catcalls, whistles or any other degrading form of ‘appreciation’. Even though this body has an incomprehensible capacity to heal, no-one has the right to wound it. Including me.
6. My body has the right to health.
My body needs unpolluted air, clean water, exercise and food that is free from harmful substances in order to survive. My body deserves free health care that is readily available and accessible. My body understands that it is more than just a body. It is a life-long companion and a mirror. Supporting my body’s health is a profound act of love. Love is the difference between illness and healing. Love is the cornerstone of our survival.
- Download the PDF here to stick up on your fridge or to send to a friend.
- Also remember to tweet us a picture of yourself signing The Body Bill of Rights to @marieclaire_sa using #MCBodyIssue
- School participation: Would you like us to come to your school? Please send us a mail and tell us in no more than 100 words how else you plan to encourage your learners to honour their bodies.