Most people have features they’d rather not flaunt on social media—and for many of us, that feature is our thighs. We feel pressure to tone them up, or whittle them down, or else hide them away. That’s precisely why yogi Sharline Eae decided to write a love letter to the upper halves of her legs, and post it on Instagram.
Most of Eae’s page is filled with impressive yoga poses and sequences, but on Friday she posted a full-body selfie: Clad in a black leotard with bare legs, she smiles confidently.
“Dear Thighs,” she wrote in the caption, “I’m in love with you, every inch, every lump, all the way up from my knees to my rump. You may not be slender, or tanned, or smooth, but you’re up for the challenge when I start to move. You power through squats, lunges, and stairs, and you don’t seem to mind when some people glare.”
The yogi goes on to explain that she’s been working on body acceptance and self-love: “Each day I am learning that my self-worth is based less on what others think and more on how I feel,” she wrote. “And lately, I feel really good.”
Eae told Health that after she gave birth to her son (eight months ago), she suffered from postpartum depression and anxiety. She had gained 80 pounds during her pregnancy, and was struggling with her self-esteem
“It took me until I was six months postpartum to really gain my confidence back and accept my thunder thighs and wide hips,” she said. “I became more confident with my body after consistently using positive affirmations in the mirror every morning before I left my house.”
Her Instagram post is a perfect reminder that our bodies don’t exist to be pretty for others to look at. Our bodies—including those so-called “problem areas”—help us power through the workouts that keep us healthy, both physically and mentally; not to mention almost everything else we do in our lives.
“My body is a method of accomplishing day to day things and that’s it,” Eae pointed out in her post. “So far it’s doing a damn good job. In fact, it rarely lets me down. So for that reason alone, I should be completely in love with it.”
She concluded her post by expressing her gratitude. “[To] my thighs and all my other perfectly strong and functional body parts, thank you for getting shit done.”
We are officially adopting this as our new mantra.
–By Evin Billington