I love all body types, however, I have a hard time loving mine.
I love seeing women rock what they love, own the skin they're in, feel confident, sexy, beautiful, and rock the body they have. I love seeing women not care about what society tells them they should look like. I, on the other hand, have a hard time accepting mine.
We're in the digital age where there are countless means of media to compare ourselves to. Before the craze of social media, it was magazines, runway walks, and tabloids that really called attention to the harmful comparisons society was hosting. One day a celebrity is called out for veins or stretch marks, while another magazine showcased the miraculous weight loss one celebrity had. Thankfully, although these comparisons have expanded exponentially in the digital age, media being accessible enough at our fingertips that inevitably scrolls over who is being compared to who, there has come a positive change where women have been embracing who they are, not hiding from it.
I love seeing women praised for the skin they're in. It makes me shudder with joy and pride when I see women tell stories of how they used to be so self-conscious, but now they embrace their freckles, stretch marks, moles, beauty marks, body hair, cellulite, etc., because it's a part of who they are. I wish I could say the same to myself.
With stress to me came weight gain, and by that, I mean exponential weight gain. In my new body, I have stretch marks down to my elbows. I duck when I see someone from high school because I don't want them to see how much I've put on. I certainly don't have the confidence to wear a two-piece bathing suit and I certainly stay as far away as possible from shorts and crop tops. I even often times wear clothing two times my size to try and hide my insecurities. So why am I able to praise others for being confident, love seeing others rock and wear whatever they want and feel good about it, yet I can't even bring myself to look in the mirror when I'm undressed?
Although we have reached a point in society where we are moving toward body positivity, there is still a lot of backlash and societal expectations that we as women experience. Too fat? Don't wear an inch of clingy clothes and you better wear a one-piece. Too skinny? Eat a burger.
I think that a lot of women face the struggle that I do. Wanting, yearning to love the body you are in but still facing the pressures that are ingrained in our head that if you aren't a size four or smaller you won't be accepted and don't deserve to feel pretty or beautiful, or even sometimes wanted.
The road to loving yourself is hard. How is it that we can love seeing women confident in who they are, sometimes women even a size similar to our own, yet could never feel confident within our selves wearing the same clothing? I think sometimes it boils down to is that we are too hard on ourselves, holding ourselves back to happiness we could achieve and self-love that might be out there because of these comparisons we are constantly giving ourselves, or even the fear of what other people will think? Sometimes it's not even that we don't love ourselves, rather we are scared to embrace who we are and rock it because something is holding us back.
If you feel similar to me, you are not alone. It takes a strong person and a lot of confidence to feel good in the skin you are in. No amount of comparisons or opinions from others can convince you of feeling something you don't feel or seeing something that you don't see, rather it comes from within in a mixture of self-love, self-worth, and healing. It comes from accepting that I may think someone is beautiful, yet they see something or perceive something that I don't.
Regardless of how much confidence someone may appear to have, we have to accept that everyone has their own insecurities, and it takes a long journey to embrace those insecurities and flaunt who you are: beautiful on the inside and outside.