Raye Zaragoza Encourages Body Positivity With ‘Not A Monster’ (Review)
“My body is not a monster,” sings Raye Zaragoza. Her new single “Not a Monster” depicts disordered eating and how she’s struggled for more than 13 years. “It is a mountain far too steep / It is a secret I can’t keep,” she continues. “It’s a ravenous obsession that keeps telling me I’m not good enough.”
“Not a Monster” rings like an alarm, its clanging sound reverberating for all to hear. “Let that thunder roll,” she sings, looping over her own voice. Such a refrain is cathartic, as she reclaims her sense of self-worth and discards those toxic parts of her well-being. “I have felt so much shame around body image since I was very young,” she writes in the song’s video description. Zaragoza began modeling when she was 11 months old, later working as a “fit model” when she was nine. The dancewear company based sizing off her figure, calling it “intermediate” for young girls.
“Once I sized out of ‘intermediate’ and lost the gig, I felt so much shame,” she adds. “I felt like something was wrong with me – and I was just a kid. By the time I was in middle school, it was very normal to brag about skipping meals and counting calories. As I send this song out into the world, I am giving a big hug to this little girl inside of me. I wish I could’ve told her what I know now.
“Hear me, my body is not a monster,” she sings, as not only a message to herself but all young people struggling with eating disorders.
Listen to “Not a Monster” below.
“Not a Monster” also takes to task our culture and the obsession with being thin. “Body image issues and eating disorders are not something that you can see or that has a specific type of body or archetype that usually deals with them,” she says. “They are pervasive in our culture, and unhealthy disordered behavior is incredibly normalized – and even celebrated.”
The song samples a forthcoming record, Hold That Spirit, out everywhere August 11. It will be her first record since 2020’s excellent Woman in Color.