So in my search for inspiration for posts for The Un-Life, I ran across xoJane’s advice column, where they allow the readers to answer/advise, and thought that I would weigh in on the discussion.
I’m 18 and three weeks ago I got a breast reduction. I was overjoyed going from a 32H to a 32D (or thereabouts), but after the initial shock of a lighter load and a higher rack wore off, I become increasingly disillusioned with my body. I was never an exceptionally chubby kid, but for whatever reason I was teased for my weight starting in preschool. This, coupled with a family who decidedly never complimented my appearance (I think they did it out of love. You know a pretty-is-not-everything kind of thing? They’ve always praised my intellect, creativity, etc) left me feeling unmentionably ugly and fat. I experimented with eating disorders in middle school, and eventually worked my way out of it, but was still left with the feeling that I was horribly unattractive. I’m only 5’3″ and weigh 135 pounds–which I realize is not overweight at all, but I carry most of my fat in my stomach, leaving me with a pooch that my mom sometimes says makes me look pregnant. In the beginning, it was only stomach I hated but as I’ve gotten older its spread to my pasty skin, my round baby face and lack of cheekbones, my smile in pictures, the blackheads on my nose, even my toes. I tried to buy new clothes post-reduction but they seemed to highlight every one of these features. The majority of my friends seem have grown into beautiful, womanly, confident, semi-adults. I on the other hand feel flabby with the insecurities of a preteen. I am wondering if body positivity is even possible or if I should stop deluding myself that I will ever be pretty (or moreover, feel pretty) and try to focus on other, more important parts of myself? When I asked my mom for advice she just told me to go on a diet and workout more.
The first thing to realize is that Body Positivity, is a journey, FOR EVERYONE! Not only for those who are on the heavier side but also for those “semi-adult” looking friends who you are comparing yourself to, and that is where you should start; by NOT comparing yourself! The human body is a varied and wonderful thing and should be honored as such!
I found myself in a similar place after losing a significant amount of weight and instead of enjoying the new body that I was in I was standing in front of the mirror pinching, poking and criticizing the areas that I felt just weren’t “good enough”. Which led me to burying the body I had worked so hard to achieve under layers of clothes and doing the best that I could to go unnoticed by others.
But what is good enough? The women on the cover of magazines? Hell, they don’t even look like that! With the amount of articles online about #photoshopfails in popular ads I think it is about time we stop fixating on those images for standards for own bodies. Be your own standard of beauty. You are uniquely and beautifully you!
Alright enough of my preaching. Here is what I suggest, start small: everyday find something that you Do like about your self. Maybe it is the color of your eyes or the shape of your mouth if so, slap a fierce lipstick on it! Start building confidence from there. Be kind to yourself, you don’t have to love everything but you have to start liking something!
Look for Inspiration! Use the internet as a tool to build yourself up start reading body positivity blogs (or start your own!) that detail loving the body your in and being unafraid to disregard societies rules for what can/can’t wear or should/shouldn’t look like! I feel talking to others as well as surrounding yourself with positive people who understand (sympathetic/empathetic) where you are coming from will definitely help also wither that is a professional or a friend. It doesn’t hurt, I promise!
If you still feel like you would like to make some changes with your start incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine; eat healthy, drinking more water and moderate exercise will not only having your looking “better” but feeling better as well.
All in all, you are not hopeless, Body Positivty is very real and obtainable but the road to getting there all starts with you!
To see the original post, the comments readers left in response, and other questions like this visit XOJane
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