I have no fucks left to give

Let’s paint a portrait that, until very recently, I would have cringed at. I’m twenty-years-old. I have a face full of freckles and thick eyebrows. I forget to shave my legs and I wax the moustache I’ve so luckily inherited every few weeks. I’ve grown into my big nose only recently. I have dry skin and crappy, porous teeth. These are all facts about myself. They’re not good, not bad, but pure facts that, until recently, I let dominate my day to day life.

Let’s paint another portrait. Tara at sixteen-years-old. I woke up each day before and checked social media. Before I’d even begun getting ready for the day myself, my head was crowded out with visual ideas of what beauty needed to look like. I plastered on a thick layer of foundation — to hide the freckles. I plucked my eyebrows. I ignored my dry skin, getting frustrated about it, and the stress probably made it worse. I was self-conscious about my height. I didn’t know how to hold myself, so I’d stand, lanky and slightly hunched, an arm clutched against the other, wavering from foot to foot.

Now I stand with my two feet on the ground. I’ve stopped giving a fuck about what others think of me, and what I think others think of me. Because that’s a lot of thinking. It’s the most liberating thing in the world to feel borderless and undermined, constantly in the process of determining. I unfollow anyone on social media that makes me feel like my own decisions about myself aren’t good enough.

I’ve stopped giving a fuck, moreover, about what men think of me. I remember a boy in high-school telling me that I needed to shave my legs. These days, I’m unapologetic for the hair that grows on my legs, my arms and everywhere else because I know now that I didn’t want to is a good enough reason — for that, and anything else.

This article appeared in The Comma’s 2018 Annual Edition. Read more here.

Tara Wesson is a second-year Journalism and Creative Writing student. She likes long walks on the beach, piña coladas, and getting caught in the rain. But no, she's really just a book-lover with a dog called Shorty, a love of travel, and a penchant for dad jokes.