The first time I saw "Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants," I cried and called it a feelings movie. I was five. When I rewatched it in my tween years, I decided I wanted to run like Blake Lively does on the beach in that iconic scene in the movie. When I tried to and said "Mom, Mom!! Do I look like her!?" My mom said I more closely resembled Snooki if she tried to run (this was before Snooki got her act together — this was during the absolute peak of the "Jersey Shore" series). No, this isn't body shaming or a sad article about my mom destroying my confidence. She was just stating the obvious fact that I didn't bare a likeness to an Amazonian goddess like Blake Lively, or for further reference, Taylor Swift.
My mom's my biggest cheerleader and one of the people who calls me on my B.S. just like she did in that exact moment. I hope you have people in your life who aren't afraid to tell it like it is. But, I still kind of hope that if I keep working on my running, I'll be able to recreate that scene with "Unwritten" playing in the background, but I'm sure that's something my therapist and I can discuss in ten years.
I want to talk about what it's like to not be naturally thin.
Although efforts are being made to tear down unrealistic beauty stereotypes and encourage body positivity, I don't think any of us are hoping to wake up fatter tomorrow! But, I don't think you have to be skinny to be beautiful. I think the secret to being beautiful is knowing what you've got, working with it, and not trying to be something that you aren't.
It sucks that my legs aren't long. But ya know what, that's not what I'm selling, folks! I could sulk around my room and cry about it. My stubby legs are especially offensive considering my feet are a size nine and I got nothing out of that. And I've accepted that although it's SO annoying that my friend can inhale a whole pizza and not gain a pound and if I look at that pizza, my jeans won't fit tomorrow, that's just the way things are for me.
And if you're a girl like me where that's the case, I feel you.
If you're the girl who can eat a whole pizza, I want to punch you a little bit but you are blessed and make the most of it. Get the extra toppings. Get a Coke with it while you're at it. And a milkshake! Aw man, now I'm hungry.
My fitness and healthy eating goals I have now aren't to please anyone, society included. They're for me because I try to hold myself to a high standard and want to look and feel the best that I possibly can. It's tiring to keep eating salads and feel like I'm not getting the results that some people would get. Or to feel bummed out when I splurge on the weekends. It's tough having to think about what you eat all the time.
Genetics are unfair, but so is life. And some of my genetics freaking rock!!
If you're a girl like me who can't just eat anything you want and probably has to go to the extreme of getting a tattoo of kale in order to slim down, remember that you're only competing with yourself. Don't waste time and energy being irritated that you have to watch what you eat. I know it's frustrating, but you're spinning your wheels when you'd be better off going to spin class!
My other piece of advice is to find role models who you admire that share your body type. For me, I think of Marilyn Monroe, Reese Witherspoon (who's short and spunky clocking in at only 5'1") and Sofia Vergara. These are all curvy people who aren't super tall. You might never be happy if you keep trying to be Kendall Jenner. She already exists, there's only one of her. It's over. But, there's also only one of you, so focus on being the best version of your beautiful, amazing self!
You don't need a thigh gap in order to enjoy your life.
It's a nice ideal that we should believe that beauty is on the inside (and it is). Inner beauty is of the utmost importance and it's absolutely what we should all out more emphasis on. But the reality is that we are exposed to beauty standards, trends and fashion all day long on social media. It's only natural to want to look and feel your best. It's normal to want to look your personal best in a swimsuit. That being said, you'll never be satisfied if you're trying to make the best version of yourself a cheap replica of someone else that you'll never achieve. My advice is to find people who have a similar body type to yourself and who you admire for their talents and character and make them your inspirations. Make those goals for yourself and shake what your mama gave ya, even if it's not a size zero!