I am not a skinny girl. I have never in my life been a skinny girl. I will never be a skinny girl. My body is built in such a way that even when I was hospitalized at 12 years old weighing 110 pounds, I still wore a size XL. I was meant to be a big person.

This used to cause me a lot of insecurity. I cursed my body for growing this way, I saw pictures of me with my friends and hid them from my profile because I was so much bigger than they were. I avoided clothes shopping in person and ordered mass quantities of giant t-shirts online. I didn't see my body as a part of me, I saw it as something ugly and misshapen hiding who I really was. All I wanted was to cover it up.

Learning to love my body was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I still have days where I look at myself in the mirror and wish I were built differently. However, learning to love my body was also one of the greatest things I've ever done. This past summer, I bought my first two piece bathing suit and, despite what anxiety told me, no one laughed or stared or told me to cover up. I wore a tight dress to my senior homecoming and I got nothing but compliments. The more comfortable I got in my own skin, the more I realized that everyone around me is comfortable with it too. All my life, I had feared judgement from people that weren't going to pass judgement on me. I spent a good portion of my life hiding from absolutely nothing, believing that fat was a bad word and summer fashion trends were only for people with flat stomachs and petite bone structures, and believing my own existence was something shameful. I spent a good portion of my life living my worst life.

So now I am spending the rest of my life living my best life. I look the way that I look. I am always going to look this way (or some variation of it). It is something that I have learned to embrace. I am not scared to flaunt my good features just because of a few that I once deemed "bad."