Now I know I am very lucky and privileged to have a smaller figure and comfortable with my body, but it was not always like that.
Like most girls going through puberty, I felt awkward and weird about my ever-changing body. My boobs were growing quickly and while that was kind of cool, I became self-conscious of that because of the extra attention from others around me, especially boys. I would’ve rather been invisible than have anyone notice me because of that.
As I got older, my stomach also got bigger. As I said, I was very lucky to have a high metabolism and a flat stomach. A growing stomach was seen as bad and made me feel even worse. What I realized, later on, is that my body is just changing. That was okay.
I learned a lot about my body and how I see it in high school. At first, I let boys define my worth and let them decide if I liked the way I looked or not. When I graduated, I gained a sense of self-confidence and that my self-worth is defined by me, and no one else. In college, I gave myself love and grace for the way I looked. Especially when I was dealing with stress acne for the first time. I always reminded myself that this was temporary. Things would get better.
Now, I embrace the parts of me that make me unique. Like the birthmark on my lower back, the slight blemishes on my chin and, yes, even the boobs that make me look much fuller than I really am. Those boobs make me feel beautiful and sexy and make me feel happy that I can put on a bathing suit and swim and enjoy a beautiful summer day.
When I slip into a one-piece swimsuit or a bikini, it’s the best feeling in the world because it’s my body that carries me through hard days, that goes through some of the best times of my life and it deserves to be celebrated.