body positivity

Your Body Doesn't Define You, So Stop Letting It

We were all created differently it's time we embrace it.

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As children, we were taught to love ourselves. We never cared about our hair color, how flat our stomachs were, or whether or not our legs looked good in the newest brand of jeans. Instead, we simply embraced our individual selves and celebrated our friends as well. However, as we continue to grow into tweens who would soon transform into teenagers, this strong self-confidence began to fade.

I began taking notice of my appearance when I was twelve years old.

I became obsessed with the way my body looked and I worked out excessively. I even attempted to cut out junk food and sweets from my food intake, which was incredibly rare for a middle school student. This insecurity continued for months on end until my mom sat me down and asked why I wouldn't eat a cookie for dessert after dinner one night.

When I told them about my growing insecurities about my body, my mom brought me complete reassurance. She reminded me that comparison is ineffective and it will only create a negative atmosphere. She also provided me with the reassurance that my body was in my control, and it was important that I treat it with care. I now use this phrase as a life mantra.

A vast majority of teenagers and young adults, most commonly women, have negative perceptions of themselves due to comparison to peers, social media, and celebrities. When we see perfectly toned Victoria's Secret models walking down the runway on television, it can sometimes make us feel bad about ourselves and question why we don't look the same way. However, we are not meant to look that way.

As my mother told me, we are in charge of our own bodies. We were all created to be authentic beings and embrace our beauty unapologetically, no matter how that may look to each individual person. We, among all people, have the right to pursue our passions, dress how we want to, and feel comfortable in our own skin.

All in all, the one person who feels concerned about your appearance is you.

On that note, embrace your flaws! No one is perfect, but no one is you. To keep my self-confidence in check, I refrain from spending too much time on social media. By keeping my phone down, I feel much more at the moment when spending time with my friends, and there is only a positive effect from this action.

I also make a point to look at myself in the mirror each morning and smile. Smiling has proven to be contagious (trust me, I've tested it) and it ensures me that I'm starting my day off on a positive note.

Another way to improve a healthy self-perception is self-care. Put on a face mask, light your favorite candle from Bath and Body Works, and watch your favorite show on Netflix to complete the ultimate self-care night. These simple things help your body feel loved, and more importantly, it helps you love your body. Despite what media may say, we are all beautiful in our own way. Now is the time we celebrate one another.

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“Wow, Your Butt Has Been Getting Bigger…What Have You Been Up To?”

A Letter To Those Who Enjoy Asking Dumb Questions
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Thank God I rarely get this question, being slim and all, but I feel for the girls that do. It is a notion that is prevalent among the Black population, and we know I don’t have to explain why. I am so sick and tired of people coming up with the dumbest ideas and this is one of them, especially when we have such amazing inventions like Google in this day and age. This question is not only embarrassing and an invasion of privacy of the askee (one of my newest words; please bear with me), but it is scientifically and biologically unsound. And as a Biochemistry major, I take pride in research and the distribution of reliable information. So I naturally get irritated whenever I’m being asked this rude question or hear someone saying it to someone else.

This notion is degrading to women everywhere and yet I know people who are ready to swear on their grandmother’s false dentures that it is the truth, and that they’ve seen it happen to their sister or daughter or niece.

“Noo…my cousin Tay-Tay had a flat booty last year! She started doing that guy down the street and now she has hips and a big butt!”

Well the truth is, I don’t care what you think happened to your Cousin Tay-Tay. And apparently, neither does biology.

First of all, before disproving this annoying notion, I am going to state said notion so we know exactly what is implied.

SAID NO TION: This theory states that once a(n) teenage/adult female starts to show signs of hip and gluteus maximus enlargement, she is automatically assumed to be sexually active. Period. End of story. No questions asked. Her misdemeanors are instantaneously concluded and her fate sealed. She is going to hell.

Now that we know the notion, let me give some reasons why people may have this idea, although it’s obviously wrong

  • Some studies say that women do gain weight on their hips and breasts the minute they start making love. According to some researchers, this may be due to the hormone prolactin which stimulates fatherly love and milk production. Especially when orgasm is reached after sex, there is an increase in the blood levels of the hormone. And with the inclusion of humans who suffer hyperprolactinemia (a condition where one has chronically high levels of prolactin), increased blood level of prolactin has been associated with weight gain in some species.
  • A more popular thought is that women get fat after being sexually active for a while because their body parts, for example the hips, butt and breasts, become “disfigured” and loosen up. This is biologically illogical (excuse the alliteration), because having sex involves physical exercise and actually aids in burning off calories, not adding calories.

The publisher went on to disprove this by saying:

"The thing with this research is that the level of prolactin in the blood or prolactin release after sex is a short-term surge and cannot be used o compare a medical condition such as hyperprolactinemia."

So basically speaking, the hormone prolactin that is released during sexual intercourse has only a short-term lifespan and does not account for weight gain in human females.

Scientists argue that due to the fact that during sex, some calories are burned, sex may even tip to favor weight loss by minimal amounts (as already covered) and not weight gain. They also argue that there are no possible means for ejaculated semen to be digested and assimilated into the bloodstream during normal sex and that if it even happened, the number of calories contained in the average ejaculation, which is two to three ml, is 15 calories which in itself is not enough.

So there are the possible reasons as to why some people would still hang on to "Said Notion" and answers disproving them. Now it is a noticeable thing that girls and women who are sexually active and do have sex frequently generally may start to actually put on weight all around. Having cleared the fact that it is as a result of the sex itself, I will give possible reasons why it occurs.

  • First of all, it is good to note that the fact that many people do gain weight after marriage is true both for men and women. This weight gain has nothing to do with sex for men or women but a lot to do with the associated sense of security and the comfort of being in a relationship. Some studies have shown that single people are less likely to eat more than people in a relationship.
  • Another good reason may be that when a woman moves in with a man, since men often require more calories per day and therefore, often eat more, when they eat meals together, she may end up eating the same things with the man in comparable quantities. Together with the security of being in a happy relationship may come a bigger appetite that she may not notice, so you may be eating more than she normally does. This will of course cause her to gain some weight.1
  • A reason for some women to consider may be that they are adding weight because of the birth control pills they are taking. This sure is not for every woman to consider, just those who may be on these pills. Some of the common side effects of these birth control pills are headache, nausea and breast tenderness. But for a few women, the side effect of the pill may include weight gain as a result of fluid retention. This is usually not in significant amounts though and as stated already, not for the majority of women.1 (I thought about this possibility before I looked this up and it is plausible because taking pills and digesting them involves chemical processes which do affect the hormonal balance in a woman’s body. However, effects are said to last only a few months)
  • Some people argue that some certain sex positions can influence the growth of hips and gluts, such as the girl being on top of the guy because she would imitate doing the squat exercise. But think about it. This is, once again, an exercise, hello? It does not increase the size of the fatty cells and tissues in your backside, rather it tones your hips and gluts, making them muscular, not fatter. And for it to even show to the point of being noticeable, the girl would have to be on top for a very long period of time and rather frequently. This all boils down to just using common sense.

There you have it, folks. A complete rundown on why Said Notion should stop being a notion. It is no one’s business what someone else does in their spare time and to have to be openly questioned about it, even as a joke, is pathetic. Boys see younger girls with natural large hips as loose or wayward and feel it’s okay to harass them because they think she’s used to it. I got all this information from Google. If you don’t ow how to use Google, please ask someone to teach you. It isn’t rocket science.

Cover Image Credit: kennethkuykendall

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The Life Of A Curvy Girl Is Very Exciting

To every curvy girl out there, share your curves as a positive outcome to your circumstances

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Have you ever noticed in all the magazines, blogs, and TV it shows a thin size woman? In all the entertainment I take in, there was always a skinny woman. It brought down my self-esteem, and I would try to starve myself, yet it doesn't help. However, what if I was meant to be a curvy girl?

Before I go any further, I know that God gave me this body to take of it. But what if I was meant to be this size so, I can touch others who feel negative towards their bodies? For every curvy woman, you are so beautiful!!

Throughout my life, I wasn't thin. I had a gut. I had thighs. I was very unhappy with myself. Yet, I look at the expectations and what people will be happy with. But if there is one thing I realized, its that people are temporary. The naysayers in your life are not set in gold. They will push you to make sure that you're happy with yourself. I truly believe if people look at me weird, that means I'm doing an amazing job with not conforming in the world but transforming in the renewing of the mind. By the way, that's Romans 12:2 in the bible!

When it comes to the curves, I'm truly grateful for them. There are some positives to having a curvy body. For one, when it comes to wearing jeans, it shapes you well. The curves pop and the haters bow down! Other than that, I truly love how I look in jeans! Another positive thing about curves, its that there are amazing clothes for us! I was on Facebook the other day, and I saw a company called Dia&Co.; Dia&Co; is a customized clothing company for plus sized women which has all the styles. When I saw the clothes, I was truly amazed. The colors and the material of the clothes were truly special.

What defines beauty? Is it makeup or having a model's body? Is it buying the most expensive clothes as a statement? I'm here to tell you those are not the definitions of beauty. The true definition of beauty is acceptance. Accepting the circumstances, even if other people say so. True beauty is waking up with a smile on your face for living another day and finding your purpose in life. Beauty is being you!

To all of you curvy women out there in the world, you are truly a blessing. Thank you for standing out of the normal and taking a step to give others the courage to becoming their selves. I learned to treat my body with the utmost respect. I must learn to take care of it and embrace it at the same time. Psalms 139:14 says, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well." So, Instead of me being a worried progress, God made me a working progress, because all things work together for good.

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