I have grown up in the age of social media, in the age where everyone seems to be in competition with the other. I have grown up in an age where your body is never good enough and for a long time, I believed that too.
I will admit I fell into the trap of seeing movie stars, celebrities and so many others with their tanned skin, toned stomach and fake looking face and wanted to be that, I am a teenage girl - what else was I suppose to do?
It was not until recently (college) where I finally took a step back and realized that my body is perfect for everything it is and everything it is not.
I use to hate my scars, they were all over my legs, my hands and what not. But I realized the scar from falling off a treadmill was a great story. The scar from putting my kickstand up on my bike with my hand and getting my thumb caught in the chain is a story. The scar on my arm, or bottom of my foot from curling irons are a story. More importantly, they are my story, my life, and my beauty - shown in a way like no other.
I use to hate my acne. It seemed I could get it under control for a couple days if, I was lucky, a week, but then something always popped up. I was terrified of going out without makeup on, foundation, concealer, and anti-redness makeup were always in my pocket, backpack or car. I finally realized that hating my skin and blaming it for my inability to have the confidence needed to be a thing of the past.
I use to hate my hips. The way the stretch marks looked right after a shower, the way they were so "noticeable" in a bikini. I use to hate the small amounts of cellulite my thighs had when I was sitting down or looking at it in a mirror. I was scared everyone else noticed it too, oh my goodness you would have thought I was trying to hide a murder, but once I realized no one else noticed those small things because that's exactly what they were, small, I became free.
I use to hate my stomach, the way it never seemed to just lay flat. Every time I looked down I saw the little pouch, the little part of it that bumped out. It was never perfect. I soon realized some of the skinniest girls are the least happy. I get a meal every day, a meal on the table every night and that makes me blessed. The fact my stomach is not toned and perfect shows I am human, not some Barbie figure. It shows I am healthy not that I am imperfect.
The point is I use to hate the smallest parts of my body, the ones I saw when taking a shower, getting ready or in a bathing suit. The ones I saw 24/7. I saw these parts of my body and thought everyone else did too - I was obsessed. I realized very quickly no one was focusing on these small parts of me because they were insignificant as to who I was as a person. I finally found love for my body when I realized my body will never be anyone else's and that was a good thing. I realized that admiring someone else's beauty should never make me question my own.
The moment I started to love my body for everything it was, made me confident not just in my body but in my ability, in my intelligence, in my personality. It changed every aspect of my life, not just the smile I had when looking in a mirror.
"One day I had to sit down with myself and decide that I loved myself no matter what my body looked like" - Gabourey Sidibe