Hey, beauties. We are going to get a little deep in this post. Actually, we’re going to get possibly more than a little deep. I’m going to indulge in my personal body image story, so in addition to deep, this post will be a bit lengthy. So, let’s just get to the story.
I grew up in a woman dominated family. Naturally, I grew up with women whose bodies were all different shapes and sizes. However, my mother has always been thin. When I say always, I mean ALWAYS. I’ve had thick legs my whole life. Even when I was a toddler, my legs were cute and chubby. Fast forward to middle school, I grew into my pear shaped figure. I never had a problem with my body until OTHER people started having problems with it and by other people, I mean my own family…
Before I even indulge in that, this is not a post where I’m seeking attention nor trying to bash my family. This post is simply me expressing my truth and hoping that other women and girls seek inspiration from it. Now, back to the point. When I hit high school, my family became more critical of my body and weight. Not everyone in my family, but mainly in my household. It definitely made me a bit more self-conscious, but never to the point where I felt really bad about myself. However, during and after college is when the beast came out. It was like a never ending word vomit session about how I need to lose weight. That is all I would hear, literally. That is when I started to believe that maybe I wasn’t as attractive as I thought I was. I think the reason these comments affected me more were because they weren’t coming from strangers, friends, men, etc. These comments were coming from people from people who share the same blood as me! These are people who have witnessed me come into this world.
So, I spent about 5 years worrying about my weight. It wasn’t to the point where I had an eating disorder, but I wasn’t happy. There have been times that I would be bullied out of leaving the house in an outfit because a few people in my house would say my stretch marks or cellulite is visible. During my struggle of finding a job in my industry, someone in my family told me that maybe I’m having issues because I need to lose weight. Yes. This is real life. So how can someone naturally not begin to believe all this stuff?? It’s constantly in your ear. So, I would work out and go on strict diets. I would basically try everything I knew to try so I can get everyone off my ass.
Thankfully, things started to take a turn after I went to visit my general physician a few months ago. She told me that I am beyond healthy. I am not at risk for diabetes or high cholesterol. The only thing I do need is some Vitamin D, haha. Otherwise, she said I’m golden. So, I went home thinking why should it matter what I look like if I’m healthy. Then my dear friend Samantha inspired the sh*t out of me. Just like me, she’s thick and curvy. She got stretch marks, cellulite, blemishes, etc and she OWNS IT! I have never seen that woman lack confidence not once. She is literally gorgeous, inside and out. I remember asking her, how do you do it? She simply said that she owns it and that it doesn’t matter what other people think because it is your body, your story, your happiness. THAT IS THE MOMENT I STOPPED CARING.
Just last week, someone in my house told me to weigh myself. I refused. They continued to say that I need to weigh myself to see if I had lost any weight. I blatantly said, “I don’t care how much I weigh.” I continued to say I’m healthy and I’m happy and that is all that matters. Then they said, verbatim, “Stop eating bread.” I said, “So then stop buying it. I’m not going to sit here starving myself of food and happiness because you want me to lose weight. If what I eat bothers you, then don’t buy it. If you don’t like my body, then don’t look.” It was probably the most liberating experience of my life because I’ve realized that I, myself, have never had a problem with my body until my family did. I’m happy with how I look. Not only am I happy, I’m HEALTHY which is also incredibly important. I am not hurting myself whatsoever.
So, here is what I want to say to you guys. Stop letting what other people think about you, affect you. No body type trumps another. You can be slender like Zoe Saldana, thick like Amber Rose, curvy like Beyonce, petite like Natalie Portman and it’s all the same because they are all beautiful women. As long as you are happy, healthy, and not hurting anyone (including yourself) then it is no one’s business. I am so happy that at the age of 23, I am finally comfortable with my body. So many people don’t have that luxury. There are so many people struggling with self-worth and self-confidence – it’s honestly saddening. The point is: YOU DO YOU, BOO BOO! If you want to run every day because that makes you happy, do it. If you want to lift weights every day, do it. If you want to go hard on a pie from Pizza Hut, do it. If you want to go Olivia Pope style and eat popcorn and drink wine, do it. No one has the right to tell you how you should look. If you want to lose weight, DO IT FOR YOU. Never do it for anyone else and remember…