When I was twelve, right at the start of middle school, I weighed 93 pounds and stood five feet tall. My legs were stick thin, all lanky and boney with no real shape. This was the start of critiquing myself for how skinny I was. When I was fifteen, right at the start of high school, I weighed 100 pounds and stood five feet three inches. Curves were forming and I was becoming more shapely, but I still felt disgusted looking at myself in the mirror. Now, at twenty, I weigh 109 pounds and stand five feet six inches. In over seven years, I only gained around sixteen pounds. At twelve I formed ugly opinions of my body. At fifteen I looked at my legs in the mirror every day and wondered why I had to be so skinny. At twenty I have finally come to accept being skinny in a world where skinny is sought after, even though some days I look at myself and still wish I was bigger. This is my journey.
From the start of middle school, I wanted to be curvy. I envied the girls with bigger boobs and butts than me. I would change in a corner for PE because I felt self conscious about my ribs sticking out and my stick thin legs. My self consciousness only continued when I started to receive skinny shaming comments from certain girls in my class. "Do you ever eat?," was the main one. These comments made my dislike for my body that much worse. Some days I would look at myself in the mirror, on the verge of tears, critiquing every single part of my body that I deemed too skinny. My mom assured me that the girls were just jealous and that there was nothing wrong with my body. The media even flashed opinions at people that skinny was the best, but that did nothing for my confidence.
At the start of high school, I started wearing tighter clothes so that I could feel bigger.This may seem counter intuitive but my thought process was that, if my jeans felt baggy in the legs or butt, then that meant I was too skinny to fit into them. So I wore skinny jeans as much as I could, and I liked how I felt "heavier" in them. Even though most skinny shaming comments stopped once I got to high school, and girls started telling me that they wished they could have my body, I still wished more than anything that I could have thicker thighs, bigger boobs, and a bigger butt. My confidence improved in high school slightly, but it was an infinitesimal amount compared to how much it has improved in college.
Over the last two years, I have come to accept my body for the most part. There are days where I will stand in front of the mirror and find myself starting to pick my body apart before I snap out of it and realize that this just does more harm than good. Then there are other days where I think my boobs look really nice, or that my butt looks really good in my jeans. These are the days I live for. I appreciate people who say that they wish they could have my body when they know that I'm having a bad day, but I also wish that everyone could be happy with their body. I have an opposite problem compared to some other girls whose goals are to lose as much weight as possible in order to "look good." Well, the grass isn't always greener on the other side. There is body shaming on both sides, whether you are skinny, overweight, or in between. But it is important to realize that your goal should not be to look like someone else. Your goal should be to be healthy, and if that puts you at 120 lbs. great, and if that puts you at 160, great. Skinny should not be the goal. And that does not mean that skinny is bad. Some people, like me, are just naturally skinny. Your goal should be to be healthy and accept the weight that you are or safely get to the weight you want to be. We all struggle with this. I have for eight years, but I'm working towards a more positive body image each and every day.