I’m Taking My Body Back: A TED talk by Rupi Kaur

Brampton poet Rupi Kaur recently hosted her first TED talk, “I’m Taking My Body Back”, a piece about surviving and healing after sexual assault. Despite the subject matter, the talk was nothing short of beautiful.

Kaur inspired many with the release of her best-selling book of poetry Milk and Honey, released in 2014. Words and images from the collection filled our Instagram feeds with inspiration and raw vulnerability.

Using a mix of poetry and narrative throughout her TED talk, Rupi weaves a powerful story. She begins her talk with a spoken-word piece about her body after sexual assault, describing it as a home that has been robbed. Though her voice is soft and her gestures delicate, her words cut deep: “All the different parts in me turned the lights off, shut the blinds, locked the doors. I hid at the back of some upstairs closet of my mind while someone came and broke the windows. You, someone, kicked the door in. You took everything. You, someone, took me.”

Rupi shares her struggle through the trauma; the sense of homelessness, the self-loathing, and the challenges with body image. She poses a question, “What happens when your body, when your body, is attacked?”

It’s a question many of us struggle with through various experiences in our lives — experiencing domestic violence, bullying, thoughts of suicide, living with a disease or mental illness and even being a displaced refugee. These are times where we may experience that same sense of homelessness — where you’ve lost your sense of self and feel like a mere visitor in your own body.

The story of trauma turns to one of healing, as Rupi talks about the years it took her to heal, to take her body back. In true Rupi style, she’ll leave you both gutted and refreshed, with a strong sense of catharsis.
Warning: This talk contains descriptions of sexual violence that may be triggering to survivors.