I’ve never been a skinny girl— the size 2, blue-eyed, blonde bombshell men die for. In fact, some might call me chubby, fluffy or soft to cushion the harsher adjective of “fat.”
And trust me, they do.
But they don't know my story, or yours.
Mine begins in high school, like all tragic teenage angst stories do. This is where I first experienced not being enough. My peers constantly told me I had nothing to offer simply because I was not thin. I went from being the bubbly, outgoing 230-pound ninth grader to a miserable, malnourished 130-pound junior, but I had never felt so loved and beautiful and praised.
Luckily, I was able to overcome these relentless obstacles over time. However, words hurt and four years later, I am still combating body-dysmorphia.
Being a woman in this photo-shopped, heavy-edit society is challenging. Everyone believes they have the right to tell you how fat you’re getting, praise you for how much weight you’ve lost, celebrate your acne finally clearing up or look down on you for how flat-chested you are.
It’s difficult to see value in something others refuse to.
Our society has become so fixated on perfection and what it means to be a woman, but this idea of perfection is physically unattainable. When we constantly put ourselves down for our appearance, it slowly wears away our amazing internal qualities and eventually ruins us.
I think you’ll find when you look around the real world, there is no one correct way to have a body. There are curvy women, slim women, tall women, short women, women with freckles, women of varying abilities, women with thick, thin or no hair, and so on and so forth. All equally beautiful.
I know how you feel. I know it’s challenging to see the beauty in yourself or know your worth, but I ask you to actively try. I ask you to fight back against what society throws at you.
Body positivity is not easy.
It is an uphill battle you must fight for constantly and fiercely. But it changes everything. When you have love for yourself, your confidence increases, your relationships improve and a weight is lifted off of your shoulders.
What helps me is finding a new physical quality I love about myself every day.
Spending 2 minutes in the mirror and admiring your curves or cellulite or smile lines can greatly boost your attitude for the rest of the day. I love to look at REAL models, meaning models my size with minimal editing, on social media. I look up to the body posi warriors like Ashley Graham and Iskra Lawrence who, despite being ripped apart for their size, still persist for inclusivity in the modeling industry.
However, the most important tip for learning to love your body is accepting you have a ways to go, and that’s okay. It took me four years — four years to realize how bad my self-image was distorted. As now a strong, powerful, beautiful women, I would give anything to have that time back.
You can have self-love now, don’t wait.