Haven’t blogged in a while. I’m still, here, though!
Today I thought I’d write about my own personal experience with body image. No, I’m not going to try to tell you that skinny is the ‘right’ size, or curvy is the ‘right’ size. I’m simply going to talk about what I feel. I’m not going to try to tell you what size you should be or that there’s a perfect ideal that we should all strive to emulate. Because that’s not how I think, and I have never thought that way, and I don’t intend to start doing it now. I am not the judge of your health, and neither should anyone else be – with the exception, that is, of concerned medical professionals in extreme situations.
I used to have body image issues. I self-harmed. I looked in the mirror and hated myself. I criticised what I now consider to be some of my best assets – my wider hips and butt, my smaller upper body, my feet that felt too big for my body. I based my happiness on my proximity to the BMI charts. I’m 5’3 and I will tell you that according to most BMI charts I have perused, I am expected to be 125 lbs. I will also tell you that am not anywhere near weighing 125 lbs., nor will that ever be a goal of mine. I was so down on myself all the time that people noticed, and I drew unnecessary and, to be quite honest, selfish attention to myself by pointing out my so-perceived ‘flaws’, especially to my boyfriend of 6 years (whom I am sure did not appreciate it – I realise now it was a really terrible thing to do to place that kind of unfair burden on him, as he has always told me he thinks I am beautiful). I looked at everyone around me and envied those who were smaller than me, or had traits which I wish I had – larger breasts, smaller thighs, eyes in a more common colour like green or blue or brown (I have hazel eyes), a size 6 foot (I wear a size 9 1/2), hair with a texture that would decide already whether or not it wanted to be straight or curly… and on and on until I was miserable and didn’t want to leave the house let alone feel like getting out of bed.
And then, I’m not sure what triggered it – but I decided that I was tired of trying to attain ideals that weren’t meant for me to attain. I decided to stop criticising myself and embrace those things that I saw as flaws. Because you know what? In the end, it doesn’t matter. You can dye, straighten, or curl your hair, lose or gain weight, look for things that flatter your figure, paint your toes, search for that pair of shoes that makes you feel amazing! You can find things that make you way happier than bashing your body! You can do it. All it takes is a little perseverance. At first, it was very difficult for me to accept that fact that I’ll probably never be a size 2. And that’s okay! It’s also okay to BE a size 2, if that’s your body type or the size you are! If you don’t like something about yourself, you can always change it, or just accept it the way it is. I’m not saying you should go out and get a bunch of plastic surgery, IF YOU DON’T WANT TO, or you shouldn’t do it. That’s not my call to make, and in any situation it will never be. If you stop focusing on the ‘negative’ things you perceive about your appearance, and embrace that fact that YOU ARE YOU, no matter what you do (sorry to sound corny :P), you will feel much, much better about yourself. You are perfect, just the way you are. It’s okay to set goals for yourself. It’s okay to embrace the things about yourself that you don’t think are perfect, and that’s because nobody’s perfect. The perfect human does not exist.
That’s what I think about body image; I decided that I will always think positively about myself. It is so easy to feel down and focus on negative thoughts; it is much harder, but more courageous in my opinion, to always see the good in yourself and realise it in others. But you can do it. I have faith in you.
Every time those negative thoughts occur to me, I always try to remember that there are others out there who are less fortunate than I am. I have a lot! I have a family who loves me and whom I love, more than enough food, clothes to wear. I do not have any life-threatening, incurable diseases or live in a country where I am considered ‘less than’ because of whatever reason. I live in a middle-class household on the water and am going to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design (technically a BA in Art), have an amazing boyfriend with whom I am planning to spend the rest of my life. I have the means to succeed in life. There are people who live without housing or food, who work for little to no money or reward, people who are all alone in the world, and many, many people all over the globe who are not happy for various and sundry reasons. You have to find something that you enjoy in life, then GET OUT THERE AND ENJOY IT!!! Volunteer, get that amazing job, travel, read as many books as you can, go see a movie, visit friends, take your dog to the park – do whatever it takes to get yourself out of the house and not feeling sorry for yourself. 🙂
I chose to put a song in this post because it is one of those songs that just reminds you of the most important thing – you are alive. You are here on earth, and as long as you are here on earth, you might as well be happy!
I’m alive and well, and that’s all that matters.