Many of us struggle to feel at home in our own bodies. This is no accident; we live in a culture where people are constantly ranked and evaluated. We’re taught our worth is not inherent; it’s earned if we meet certain requirements, and the bar keeps moving out of reach. Alexandria Occasio Cortez puts it this way: “Our culture is predicated on diminishing women and preying on our self esteem. So it’s quite a radical act, and it’s almost like a mini protest, to love yourself.” I believe one essential way to fight oppression is to unapologetically make your body a place where no one can make you feel unwelcome. The human figure as a blooming flower or tree symbolizes this. “To fling my arms wide in the face of the sun…” refers to the Langston Hughes poem “Dream Variations”, about the freedom to spend the day dancing with abandon.