There is no wrong way to be a woman. Just like there is no wrong way to be a woman, there is also no wrong body for a woman to have. Bodies come in every shape, shade, and size you could possibly image, right? Yet mainstream media's portrayal of the ideal woman is more often than not, extremely thin, continually obsessing over her weight, food, pant size...and genuinely dissatisfied with her appearance as a whole. We live in an image obsessed world, so it’s easy to let our body confidence get lost in the mess of over-edited Instagram models and magazine covers. While every single body out there is beautiful, curvy girls often get the brunt of the body shaming. Confidence is a journey, and this is just a little bit about mine…
I should start by saying I’ve never been what one would consider thin. Not a day in my life. I went from a little healthy chubby baby to broad shouldered pre-teen, to a curvy hipped adult. This is something I’ve very much come to terms with and have very much accepted. I was literally born this way. So I’m not sure how others feel, as I only know the way I’ve always felt. Big, which doesn’t necessarily mean fat, or overweight, or any of the above. I was an active kid. I played soccer and spent most of my nights in my backyard or at the park. I was in show-choir in high school (have you ever danced AND sang on stage for 15 minutes?). No, it wasn’t about being fat. It was about being different, and being different felt like a hindrance.
I wanted to be normal, or whatever I thought normal was. I dreamed of the day I’d fit into a size 4 jeans like my friends. I fantasized about thin legs, a tiny waist, and wearing a tank top with no bra. I could picture it! A version of myself that was never going to exist, but I always compared myself to anyways. Underneath all that, I wanted most of all to feel beautiful when I sat next to the other girls in my class. I wanted boys to think I was hot. I wanted other girls to envy me. I wanted to feel comfortable in my skin.
Now I wish I could tell you the moment when that switch went off, because it did. I wish I could pinpoint a day or a memory that changed everything, a moment that the habitual body monitoring ceased to consume me. But I can’t; because in all honesty it was gradual. It was moments of pride when I looked in the mirror and began to understand that this, what I was living in, was mine. My body confidence, my self-love, it grew out of an ownership of my being. I am who I am. I am so entirely flawed. My shoulders are broad and my thighs touch, and my boobs are never quite as perky as I’d like, but all of it was mine. It was me, and in the last few years I’ve come to accept that. Beyond accepting it, I’ve come to love the things I use to try so hard to hide.
So, take selfies, as many as you want. Post them, not because you need others to gratify you but because you are a beautiful human being and the world should get to see that. Embrace curves and lumps and bumps and everything in between. Learn to love your body, because your body loves you. Let me repeat that. Your body loves you. Your strong thighs and your hips and your fingers and your toes. They carry you through this world, day in and day out, so the least you can do is loath them a little less. This is all you've got. Let me repeat that. This is all you've got. One body. One soul. One heart. It's not worth your time to spend it on not loving the shit out of that bad ass body you've been gifted. People would kill for that body. I know, I know some days that doesn't work. I know that some days no matter how hard you work, you won't be able to look in the mirror and feel satisfied. So on those days, the darker days, learn to accept. Learn to nod and move on; because as much as loving my body has changed my life, learning to love myself, regardless of my body, was just as valuable. You are not your body, but you are beautiful, curves and all.
Cover Image via ShutterStock