My Body Is Not A Democracy

My Body Is Not A Democracy

My body is not a democracy. My body is an empire and I am its dictator. You do not get a vote. There will be no coup d’etat. Rebel forces will not overthrow me. I am in charge of it forever.

You are welcome to have your opinions. And you are welcome to keep them for yourself. Please do not leave them at the gates of my empire. They will only be thrown in the incinerator, as all of my storage facilities are full.

For the last year, it has felt like there has been an attack on my body, from both the outside and the inside. When I hear the stories of young girls being raped and then bullied by other GIRLS for speaking out, I begin to think I have stepped into some strange world where Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Walker and Ani DiFranco never existed.

When I hear men speak about how women’s bodies work and their ideas for controlling them through legislation, I wonder if they have ever seen a woman’s body. I wonder if they are married and if they are, do they throw those sheets with the slit in them over their wives before they have sex? How can a man in 2013 be as old as they are, with as many children and be so ignorant? And who are the women that let them get this way?

As I look forward to 2014, I realize there is a bit of fighting we need to do. If I have to fight for my body and the freedom to govern my own beautiful empire, then I will, but I will not fight with my body any more. I will not fight with those horrid little uglies—those pests that creep into my mirrors and magazines and photographs that tell me I am too fat to be loved or be beautiful. And just so you know, the uglies attack the skinny girls, too. It is something we all have in common.


Rule 1:
I will feel as fierce as I look when I dress everyday. I am a fashion revolution and my uniform is my beauty and grace and my fabulous shoes which I have the uncanny ability to find for reasonable prices.

Rule 2:
No longer will it be acceptable to compare my body to any other woman’s as I walk down the street or sit on the street car or look at magazines. Not even the, “well, at least I’m not as fat as her.” This is a punishable offense.

Rule 3:
Punishments for being human and making mistakes are now outlawed. Punishments for any offenses previously mentioned shall be a dose of self love. This may involve singing in the shower, buying new face cream or treating oneself to a donut– even though I am not a big sweets eater—there is a time and a place.

Rule 4:
When I love something another woman is wearing I will tell her, even if I don’t know her—she deserves to know that her uniform is fabulous and that our empires can be friendly allies.

Rule 5:
I will listen to young girls as they give their perspective on the world and gently remind them of my own, allowing them to come to the meadow of the feminist revolution for themselves, as we all do eventually. I will welcome them when they get there and remember that they are dictators of their own empires and are free to govern as they wish.

Rule 6:
I will remember that I am more than a body. I am a spirit, a soul, a being of light. I am but a precious moment on this earth and while that time is short, it is also powerful. I will do my best to honor the sun, the wind and the sky as they bring my existence into perspective.

You are welcome to visit my empire. We have lovely accommodations and reasonable rates. The spring here is fabulous, though we do offer various treasures year round. And just remember, you can visit, but I am the only one who gets to live here. And I am in charge.

This image is now available in a print from my Etsy store: Get it here!

54 thoughts on “My Body Is Not A Democracy

  1. Charlotte says:

    That was so perfectly beautiful. It made me exhale slowly and feel better about myself too. Thank you.

    1. teafly says:

      Thank you, Bonnie for sharing that link and for your kind words!

    2. Jo Heather says:

      Hi Teafly, this is such an inspirational piece of work! I came across your image on Pinterest and wondered if you would be happy for me to include it on my Instagram page promoting body positivity? I would of course credit you. I think it’s so important to seek permission on such things. Keep up the good work xx

      1. teafly says:

        Thanks! Absolutely you can share. Thanks for asking! xox Teafly

  2. Amanda MacNaughton says:

    Really great blog entry! Thank you for writing it.

    1. teafly says:

      Thanks, Amanda! I really appreciate you taking the time to read it!

  3. Kristina says:

    I may have to print this out and hang it somewhere to remind me that all of this is and will continue to be true. And also? Your art is just lovely and adorable.

  4. Laura says:

    LOVE this. This is exactly it. Accurate.

    1. teafly says:

      Thanks, Laura! It’s nice to see that so many people can relate!

  5. Sophia says:

    I don’t often read things that properly asses how I feel and put it in words which aren’t harsh and don’t make me feel like i’ve been yelled at or am being admonished but here i have found something which will stick with me today and forever, i will tell my friends and i will show my mother hoping she understands. This spoke to me on a level i was not aware existed and I am so thankful for this.

    1. teafly says:

      Thank you, Sophia for your kind and thoughtful words. I am glad you enjoyed the piece. And thanks for sharing!

  6. Pat Plankey says:

    As a mother of a teenage girl, and as a woman myself, I really appreciate the wisdom and real-ness of what you shared! I am passing it along. Thank you!

    1. teafly says:

      Thanks, Pat, for sharing my piece! It warms my heart to know how much people are enjoying it!

  7. Eunice says:

    “I will remember that I am more than a body. I am a spirit, a soul, a being of light.” – That speaks to me. Thank you.

  8. b-ephemeral says:

    Great post! I am bookmarking it so I can read it again and again should the wish arise. I am working very hard on rule 2: comparison is an offense indeed. I am slowly getting there 🙂

    1. teafly says:

      Thanks, so much! I’m glad you liked it! I’m working on #2, as well! We’ll get there!

  9. Candace says:

    Hi there! How can I buy this in poster form?

      1. georgeforfun says:

        I shared it on Tumblr with a Friend also. She had posted the first part of the quote, but I showed her the rest, so others could read your work.))))))))))))

        1. teafly says:

          Thanks! I really appreciate the help getting it out there! And how it was originally intended! Yay!

    1. teafly says:

      Thanks so much! I have been thinking of creating some posters with different girls on them. Maybe in the future… Right now I am selling the t-shirt with an alternative design on it from the one you see above. It doesn’t have a girl on it at all, just a symbol of a woman.

  10. The Reuser says:

    I was introduced to this image a few days ago at World Domination Summit and I’ve been thinking of it multiple times a day since. I just wanted you to know. It’s beautiful, poignant, uplifting, empowering. Just wonderful. Thank you for writing it.

    1. teafly says:

      Thank you! I’m honored Shannon shared it and feel blessed that it makes so many people happy! So glad you like it!

  11. Johnf470 says:

    Hi, I desire to subscribe for this web site to obtain latest updates, therefore where can i do it please assist. eggaafedefea

    1. teafly says:

      Hi! You can sign-up on the home page : On the right side of the page, beneath the Instagram feed, there is a place to enter your email address under the title “Follow This Blog Via Email” Thanks!

  12. Richard says:

    Love it. From a dad with daughter.

  13. Lizbeth says:

    I cannot wait to share this with my students, female & male snd to purchase a shirt. I do, however, have a request: if possible, would you consider capitalizing Earth? I find that the Earth, or Mother as I call her, is the most judicious & sagacious entity of all & our greatest gift. Thank you for your beautiful words & for caring so much about yourself & all sisters:)

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