“You look so different from what I was at your age”
Skinny. Fair. Pretty. Boys don’t die for you. That’s what she means. I’m not half my mother, I look nothing like her. I stare into the mirror and I see my stomach. I see my big arms, I see my imperfections. My skin is rough. My skin is dark. How did I turn out this way?
“Your best friend is so pretty”
Says the boy, the girl, anyone you bump into and you smile hard because your best friend IS pretty. She’s stunning. She’s everything you wish you were. Behind that smile is some guilt, guilt you can’t measure up to her. Guilt that you can’t stand next to her sometimes because your jealous she’s so beautiful. Pictures with her serve as precious memories but when they are posted everyone’s eyes are on her and you can’t help but feel invisible.
“Your beauty on the inside is explainable”
But what about the outside? What about that? Why can’t you see me? Why can’t I be that girl? Why. Why. Why. Am I not good enough to be pretty for you? Am I not good enough?
It seemed fitting to pull out my old Fanders Army shirt after @thatsthat24 ‘s latest vlog (so fitting to the point whee the moment I got out of class I was running to my car to grab my selfie stick and taking these pictures on the field like a weirdo). And I’ve decided to open up about my own struggles with my body image.
I’ve been overweight for a good portion of my life. I’m still learning how to love my body for what it is. There had been days where I full on broke down because I hated what I saw in the mirror. I’d cry at least twice a week alone in my room because I didn’t think I was beautiful or could ever actually be loved. I was hardly ever content with the way my face looked or my hair length/style. Admittedly, there were some pretty dark thoughts because of these views, but that’s a different story.
It’s been a process, but it’s getting easier to accept myself for who I am. I take a lot of selfies (some would joke I take too many) to force myself to really look at my face and find features that I like (like my eyes look good with this color shirt or that smile looks cute in this photo, etc). I have fun changing my hair color every few months (right now I’m in the Nymphadora Tonks stage of my hair adventure), I do my makeup a different color scheme each day so I can feel like I’m some sort of new painting everyday. I’ve been taking more photos that include my stomach, even though that’s where the majority of my body fat is. I now have three tattoos, two of which are reminders to myself that no matter what my brain tries to tell me: it’s worth it to love myself and to enjoy the life I have, and that the only sharp objects that should ever touch my skin are the ones used to make permanent works of art.
There’s still some bad days, don’t get me wrong. But I’ve come to realize that the people I choose to surround myself with love me for who I am, and that’s what truly matters.
So thank you, Thomas, for speaking out about a very important topic, and for constantly bringing a smile to my face even when I’m at my lowest.