My Body, My Story

My Body, My Story

"Find out who you are and do it on purpose" -Dolly Parton

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After watching the new Netflix film, Dumplin', I was given me the courage to write this article about one of the hardest things in my life to talk about. Like Willowdean Dickson, the main character in the movie, I have a problem with my weight and I hated myself for a long time because of it.

At the start of my life, it was hard for me to understand that I was the fat girl in school. I never felt worthy of love or acceptance just like Willowdean didn't. I felt like I could never find any happiness in life until I was happy with what my scale said.

Body image is a hard topic to talk about for a lot of people in the United States to this day. Every day, whether it is in the line at the grocery store or online while browsing through Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, we are told that we need to look a certain way to be happy or that happiness can only be found when an acceptable number is shown on a scale. These portrayals of happiness are shown to us daily as reminders of how life is "supposed" to be lived. I tried to live by these standards for years and I shouldn't have.

Poor self-esteem is not the newest trend and it needs to be stopped. I beat myself up for years because I had tried to change how people felt about me instead of being worried about how I felt about myself. I, soon, came to terms with the fact that the only person whose opinions mattered was my own. I have finally come to realize that all I need to worry about is how to make myself happy and not everyone else because I was the one who had to stand up and look in the mirror every day and see the reflection of the person that I was on the outside and the inside.

Being a heavier set girl has made me a better person. I learned how to understand and accept the flaws of others because I have learned to understand and accept my own. I can tell you from my own experiences that the saying, "You need to love yourself first before you can truly love others," is so true. Self-love is so important and it needs to be spread among our generation that only promotes self-loathing. So, go out and make today a day full your favorite things. Eat the ice cream cone you wanted from McDonald's because the calories really do not matter all that much or go and master something you have tried to do before and failed because YOU can do whatever YOU want. Today is the day to show the world that you are truly happy with whoever you are. From the wise words of Keala Settle in one of my all time favorite songs, "I'm not scared to be seen. I make no apologies, This Is Me."

Thank you for reading! :)

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I Hate That I Struggle To Love My 'Midsize' Body

I gained a few pounds, but that shouldn't be the end of the world, yet it is in a sense.

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Junior year of college has been quite the wild ride. I've had the best academic year of my entire life, yet struggled, in the end, to even want to get anything done. I didn't care about a lot of the things that used to matter to me.

I gained weight at the beginning of my second semester and went up a jean size, so half of my summer wardrobe just doesn't fit me anymore, and it's made me feel embarrassed. I went from a size 6 to an 8/10, and while it doesn't seem like a big jump to the average person, it was to me. I don't like looking in the mirror and seeing a bigger pooch than usual, or how my thighs have gotten super irritated because they also got bigger. Chaffing I used to only have in the summer occurred in late January and even scared my inner thighs. It's not cute and it hurts when it flares up. I am terrified to wear my bikinis again because I know they won't fit, and the second I put on shorts my thighs are going to want to kill me if I don't kill them first.

I came to really love my body last summer after struggling through a rough breakup where I stopped caring about myself. I owned myself last summer and as much as I want to again this summer, I'm really struggling with the idea of it.

All I feel like I see on social media are skinny girls with zero hint of a pooch or thick thighs in sight. I've never been a skinny girl and I never want to be, but I can't help but envy the people I've seen online and in person. Of course, what I see on social media isn't really accurate, but it's still been tough to look at these girls who seem like they don't have a care in the world. They can eat whatever they want and still look flawless. They can throw on a bikini and not have to feel like they need to suck everything in so no one sees their pooch hanging over their bikini bottom. As a stress eater who is still too terrified to try on her bikinis, I'm not looking forward to showing my body off when all I want to do sometimes is hide it because I don't feel happy with what I see.

I will always love being a curvier girl and YouTubers like Sierra Schultzzie, Carrie Dayton, and Lucy Wood have given me a new boost of inspiration to embrace the body I have right now. I'm not skinny but I'm not plus sized either. I feel pressure from myself and certain people in my life to be skinnier and not "let myself go." I

'm so happy to have friends who have helped me through my struggles and support me, even when I don't want to support myself. These YouTuber's have opened my eyes to the fact that this body deserves to be loved just as much as my former, smaller body.

I want to love myself with 100% of my being and I hate how much hatred I've allowed to go on inside of me. There is only one me and I need to be proud of her. Maybe she gained some weight and isn't what society expects from a girl, but she's still amazing and has so much to offer.

I wish I could see more girls like me on YouTube or social media offering a representation of my body type, which I hardly ever see. Aerie and American Eagle have done a fantastic job of including different body types and it's been a great help in seeing that they really to make clothes for all types of women, not just a size zero to two. Added representation really does wonders for someone suffering from low body confidence like me.

While I hope to begin my journey into losing a few pounds this summer by jogging whenever I get the chance, I'm not going to put intense pressure on myself to look a certain way. I am single for the summer and exploring life with my best friends by my side. I'm here to be the best version of me that I can. I cannot let negative thoughts about myself to dictate how I feel every day. I am strong, I am beautiful, and I need to love myself and my body as I am.

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I Took Pictures Of Everything That Made Me Happy Today And It Was More Than I Expected

Who knew there are so many happy things to choose from!

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Lately, it seems like I have been having a hard time finding the little moments that bring joy to the everyday life we live. I've been feeling like I'm searching for big things and looking into the future to find happiness instead of just opening my eyes and living in the moment, so today I decided to take a picture of all the little things that made me smile.

1. Pretty flowers

Megan Carmen

On my way back from my first class, I saw the cutest little purple flowers! They reminded me of the ones I saw in Home Depot a few days ago, and I smiled at the thought of having a really nicely landscaped house one day.

2. A gorgeous day

Megan Carmen

It was about 50 degrees today, and that is my prime weather. So on my way to my car I was basking in the cool breeze of this beautiful day.

3. A full tank

Megan Carmen

On my way to get my allergy shots, I stopped for gas. It may be a little thing, but the smell of gas is one that I love. It's also just so nice to turn the key and see a full tank of gas in your car.

4. A good health day

Megan Carmen

I get allergy shots every week, and normally I have an issue of some kind. Be it a small bump or an itchy arm or something more serious, it always seems to be something. Today, however, there was no reaction at all! So here's a picture of all my allergy medications to celebrate because I'm too much of a wimp to take a picture in a crowded doctor's office.

5. A good boy

Megan Carmen

I always take a minute to stop by and see my dog after I get my allergy shots, but today Charlie was exceptionally cute. You're welcome for this adorable picture.

6. More pretty flowers!

Megan Carmen

On the walk back from my parked car, I saw the prettiest tree in bloom! I just really love nature, can you tell? It made me smile and think about how lucky we are to be on such a beautiful planet.

7. New music

Megan Carmen

A few weeks ago, I found out that Greyson Chance, that one kid form Disney Channel a million years ago, is still making music and it is actually good. This song came on today and I laughed at the thought of Greyson Chance just being out here making bops... who knew.

8. Carol

Megan Carmen

I may be biased, but I think I have the cutest fish in the whole wide world. Her name is Carol, and she loves to sit in her tube. It is so wholesome and every time I see her chilling I can't help but get giddy.

9. Good body day

Megan Carmen

There are some days where you look in the mirror and just really feel yourself. Today happened to be one of those days. They have been few and far between recently, and so I took this day and the pleasing image I saw in the mirror and ran with the joy it brought me.

10. Roomies!

Megan Carmen

My roommates are amazing people. Hands down some of the coolest people in my life, and I often take that for granted. They bring me a lot of happy moments and I wouldn't have gotten through this year without them by my side, so I forced them to take this picture with me.

11. More of a perfect day

Megan Carmen

I really really love nature, so here's another picture of some pretty trees that made me smile today. Joy is in the little moments, peeps.

12. Donuts

Megan Carmen

I was craving something sugary today, and these donuts really hit the spot. Normally I would go for the classic Ben and Jerry's or a chocolate chip cookie, but these cheap cake bites really did if for me today. God bless the joys of a sweet tooth.

13. Being me

Megan Carmen

Sometimes I think we all take for granted how amazing we all are, and how cool it is to just be ourselves. I know for me, it can be really hard to think that way. But I am beautiful, and so are you! Today I took this silly picture, and it made me chuckle and think of how blessed I am to just be here and to be who I am.

So now it's your turn! Go out today and take a picture of all the little things that make you happy. Take the time to reflect on how incredible it is to be here, and to be present in each moment in the fast-paced life we live. There is so much to be happy about in our world, so get out there and get smiling!

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