growing up: body image

March 15, 2015

In a recent published article, I opened with the best part about growing up is knowing your self-worth and values. You can view that article here.

Truly believe in that. In last week’s post about turning 25, I mentioned how I learned to ease the pressure of figuring it out and trying to handle my shit.

Tonight, I am going to share something insightful as well. Well, something I discovered about myself. You know how in our teenage years and maybe even today, we deal with so many insecurities? Whether it is about staying in trends so we won’t feel left out or lacking skills in our profession. The whole what if I am not good enough bullshit. They say that when you get older, we learn not to give a shit anymore about what people think, and that goes for every aspect of our lives. I am sure you’ve seen postings it on Tumblr along the lines of: the less you care, the happier you’ll be. The Tumblr community is pretty amazing and right.

I have to agree. Women in their thirties tell me that their twenties were filled with uncertainties and insecurities. Uh, yes. I concur. But being in my twenties are definitely better than my teens.

Man, I was not the same person as I was in high school. Thank goodness.

I know one thing for certain, my battle with my body image is a work in progress, and ongoing. Like every person, I have this argument with myself between having to work out or having that extra slice of pizza. Guess which one I will take? If you answered pizza, you know me damn well. I will eventually try to “work it off” later.

I have been called chubby, fat girl, and all that crap when I was growing up. I can sit here and tell you how all the bullying and name-calling impacted my self-esteem growing up, but no. Not here to share some childhood sob story. However, there is a photo below. Enjoy it.

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Here is my thought: I will never be a size-0. Ever. And I am okay with that. Finally coming to full acceptance of my body image.

Near my pubescent age, when someone identified me as a “thick” individual, I always thought they were trying to be nice about calling me “fat.” But now, I acknowledge and know the difference.

I have become proud of the physical features that I once hated so much and to be teased about constantly. For instance, my legs. I hate denim shopping -still do- because I have thick legs, but I love them because they’re strong legs. Your girl can squat. I wish I was taller so I can have long, strong legs like Beyonce, but who really can be like Bey, though? Foreal?

Basically what I am saying here is, we all have different body shapes and sizes, and as much as we are bombarded with diets, “How To Lose 5 Inches” articles, and the definition of beauty by the media, we are beautiful. If you have not caught any campaigns by Dove, then you are missing out. There is this new video about Girls with Curly hair. It’s so amazing, you must watch it here.

Self-love is not just loving yourself internally: like your mind, soul and your qualities as a person. It’s externally too, with body and all of that. I believe in health, sure muscles awesome, but health and well being comes first.

I am also starting to find the beauty in aging, too. There is a documentary on Netflix called Advanced Style, where this blogger photographs older women in New York killing it in their personal style day-to-day. You can find his blog here. That’s kind off topic, but I thought I would share that bit.

What provoked me to write such a lengthy story about my body image was caused by a conversation I was having with my Big Sis, B. She keeps reiterating how much I have grown . I have and proud of it. Another year older, a milestone-age if you will, caused me to reflect in so many ways and share these stories with you.

Hope I am not boring you. Moral of the story? Learn to love yourself wholly. Embrace the skin you’re in. But if you’re in the pursuit of that six-pack or whatever your workout regime may be, don’t self-hate in the process. All we can do is try to be a better version of ourselves, inside and out. But for me, after years of my obsession with weight and body issues, I have learned to love myself in the process.

It takes time, trust.

Anyway, I bid you goodnite. Thank you for tuning in family & friends.

– C

PS: Two weeks until my birthday. I had a meltdown today… do not ask me why. It’s petty.