I started hating my legs when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I was standing in a Gap changing room with my mom while she complained about the pockets on different jeans making my thighs look extra bulky.
When I was 13, (5,2” 100 pounds) she was driving me to the gym and she pestered me about wearing long leggings, rather than shorts. “Maybe if you actually worked and felt good about yourself you’d wear shorts,” she’d said.
Four years ago when I was 16 and in the eleventh grade, I was at a pretty unhappy time in my life. This was for a few different reasons, but I began to lose interest in school, in my friends, and in my sports. I became less active, and this, coupled with stopping gymnastics at age 14 and my liking of food, had led me to get a little on the chubby side.
One rainy day in class one of my good guy friends and another guy (whom I’d on/off liked) started making jokes and then referred to me as “Zeus.” I didn’t know what they meant, and I kept trying to find out for the next couple weeks whilst they continued to use this name. Then my friends found out, and they didn’t want to tell me what it meant. Finally one did. She looked at me with so much pity, her eyes dropping while she said: “Like you know.. Zeus.. thunder.. thunder thighs”
I couldn’t even cry, I just felt so sad.
I actually don’t believe in using the word “hate”, but damn I really did dislike my legs.
After grade 11 I began to slim down a little.
Three days ago I was lying in bed with my boyfriend who I have now been with for about six months. I was - in a light-hearted manner - complaining about the fat I’ve gained from all of our recent going out to eat. These endeavors have, in fact, led me to get back to the same weight I was in grade 11. (Hopefully this won’t last long, because it feels bad.) Boyfriend grabs me and he says, “Babe stop, I love your body.” He continues to tell me about all the things he likes, and even mentions that the first time we slept together he thought I looked like a Victoria’s Secret model. When he was listing off things he liked, he then goes “..your stomach, your thick thighs..” and I had to stop in shock at how ironic this was.
In grade eleven my thick thighs had been so hurtful to me, and here I was 4 years later being praised for them. He even referred to them as thunder thighs (god forbid) all in the same sentence – talking about them almost like he was proud.
The point of this story is to say that you should not be ashamed of who you are. We all have things we do and do not like, and there are always people who will and won’t be nice. We grow up in certain cultures, we change, and yet we are still ourselves.. and so susceptible to everything. But for every person out there who will embarrass you and make you feel hurt, there is somebody who will love you for everything. Love yourself first to make things easier. People who properly love and respect you will come along, even if you have to wait for a while.