In this age of social media, it is very hard for many females and surprisingly, even males to love themselves, their bodies, as they should. You scroll on Instagram every day and all you see is Big Booty Judy but when you pass the mirror, you spin around a couple times like a dog trying to catch its tail searching for what is supposed to be your butt (speaking from experience here). Or when you look down, you have such a clear view of your toes as your chest doesn’t cause much obstruction (p.s. that means you’re boobless). Or it could be the opposite, you don’t have a good view at all because while others want this “blessing of the boobies”, you feel like you got a tad bit too much and would willingly give them away in a second. Whatever it is, every girl who suffers with accepting her body has a story. Though different in nature, our stories all spring from one focal point.
Society’s definition of beauty and the ideal body.
Society tends to treat bodies like fashion trends. One day, thickness is in. Next week, it’s not. The other week, it’s skinny. (Can’t deal with that, that’s why I say style over fashion LOL). But seriously, many individuals tend to become totally absorbed with what magazine firms like Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Essence etc say so much that if their bodies do not match up with what is stated in these articles or blog posts, they become insecure and begin to dislike themselves.
Disliking one’s image and deciding to make a change isn’t entirely a bad thing. Say for example, if an individual is overweight and he/she decides to start going to the gym to be slimmer, then that’s great! I support working towards positive change. However, many choose to take other routes. Like surgery, breast enlargement, butt enlargement, waist reduction, you name it. Just to fit society’s mole of the ideal body shape.
I remember my days of not liking my body shape/figure. I had a problem with being slim. I tried so hard to gain weight. I tried everything. Even tried eating loads of fast food in hopes that I would gain weight. And maybe I did. For like a day, maybe two. But the weight didn’t stay (which later I found out had to do with my metabolism). A part of my desire to gain weight had a lot to do with what people around me said. There were family members (can I tell you Caribbean family members are the worst? LOL), who when they came to visit would always comment on the fact that I had not gained any weight since they last saw me and would tell me that I need to eat food. Newsflash! I ate food! My lack of weight gain was merely due to my body type.
And I know there are many slim girls like myself who had those issues. They weren’t confident in their bodies. Sadly, some girls still have those issues. Personally, I grew confident in my body by not focusing on my body. What do I mean by that? I stopped giving a lot of my mental space to my body type and my figure. I learnt there was more to life than that. I learnt that there was way more to me than that. I grew to love the girl inside. I grew to appreciate my interior and once I worked on myself internally, I was set externally. I learnt to appreciate my good qualities. I saw myself as more than just what I see in the mirror. “I’m smart.” “I’m kind.” “I’m powerful.” “I have many talents.” “I am helpful.” “I have a great personality.” Etc. Through these positive affirmations, I found my beauty internally and once I found that, no one could tell me anything about me externally.
“Well you don’t have a big butt.” “But I’m no less a woman than you.”
I grew to love myself. My smile. My skin. My legs. My arms. Everything.
Thankfully, I am out of that phase and I am happy with my body. Now when I think about my body, it is not to change but to improve. How to be a healthier me. How to be fit. So I may watch what I eat but no, I’m not a paranoid, healthy lifestyle junkie. I eat everything. The pizza, the fries, the ice-cream (Life is short :D). But I aim to strike a balance. So I’ll also have the broccoli, the cucumbers, drink loads of water and green juice. I try (operative word is try) to be consistent with exercising whether it be going to workout at the gym, working out on my own, doing Zumba classes etc. The focus is not on my body shape but on being healthy. Being the best me.
And it is my dream that other women will not strive to fit society’s definition of beauty or a particular body shape/figure but will simply strive to be their best self. And that starts with loving you. Not merely for what you see in the mirror but for who you are beyond that image. Don’t define yourself by your butt, breasts etc. Chances are, if you do, others will too. Having “some bodies” won’t make you somebodies. You may get some attention for a while. But looks fade. Wrinkles appear. And one day, procedures like botox will lose their effects. Learn to love yourself for you. What God has given to you. Don’t worry about who won’t love you because you don’t have this or that. Trust me, if their love is dependent on your body, then it’s really not love and you don’t need that negativity in your love. Define who you are by your character. Trust me, that’s way more important.
(Inspired by a conversation with my friend)