Growing up, I was insecure. How I looked played a part in my insecurities. When I was in elementary and junior high school, I was often the tallest girl in my class. I hated that. I remember a student made a comment that I was so tall. I would then slouch to appear shorter than I was. I didn’t want to seem “big.”
When I got older, the insecurities from my height shifted to my body shape. I’ve always been slim but I wished I had more curves. From what I saw in the television screens around the entertainment world, from the conversations I would hear boys and men snicker about, it seemed as though what is most attractive in African American women were their curves. It seemed to be a big butt, the big breasts and the full lips. I didn’t have any of that. I used to wish I did. Yet, the girls and women who do also have their stories to tell. They are body shamed for not looking thinner or “smaller.” Then, the question we should ask is who really wins in all of this? I believe that we are all imperfect and it’s okay.
As I get older, I’ve learned to appreciate my body for what it is. I stand tall. I’ve come to like my long legs. I’m not curvy, but I appreciate and revel in my naturally thin frame. I am beautiful just as I am. I wouldn’t want to change myself to the standard of what society sees as beautiful because then we would all look the same. Then, we would miss what is unique and rare about each of us.
I know loving your body as it is can’t be easy especially because, in the entertainment world, we tend to see plastic surgery as the norm. It’s a quick fix. I admit I watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I’ve noticed one of the siblings had such a drastic change to her looks over the years. Kylie Jenner admits she felt insecure about her lips when was younger and that’s why she decided to start getting lip fillers. Considering the transformation of her entire body, I doubt her lips have been the only thing she changed. Yet, she is a well-known celebrity. She has a large following on Instagram. She has been featured in Forbes for her success in her makeup line. There are other celebrities whose bodies are not natural but we are constantly in awe of their lives. There’s Cardi B who said she had her butts done. She was working as a stripper then and she believed it would help her obtain more money.
Using plastic surgery to enhance certain parts of the body might now tend to seem normal. But I don’t believe that beauty is only one look. Beauty is not only big breasts and big butts. Neither is beauty only a thin frame and long legs. Beauty is in all of it. It ’s in many shapes and sizes and looks.
It would be unfortunate if the young girls growing up in today’s society believe they are not beautiful if they do not look or adhere to the “sexy” standards that are constantly perpetuated on television and social media. We can love our body as it is and here is how I’ve been learning to do just that.
Accept That Nobody Thinks They Have A Perfect Body
When it comes to our bodies, I don’t think anything can ever be perfect. We all have some minor flaws and insecurities. I admit I used to wish I were curvy because living in the states, it seemed as though that’s what’s sexy about a black woman. But if I had the opportunity to enlarge certain parts of my body, I wouldn’t do it. It is unnatural to me. I wouldn’t want to change my body because this is how it was given to me. To entirely change it feels as though it’s not worthy yet it is. I see my beauty and worth in myself and others see it in me. Though my body is not perfect, it does not mean it is not beautiful and desirable.
To you, when you find yourself judging your body, a way to love it is to first accept that it is not perfect. Admit and be okay with it. Admit it and be alright with it because perfection is a facade.
Don’t Downgrade Your Body Because of Comparisons
There’s nothing wrong with having goals and motivations when it comes to your weight or body. However, when you obsess and constantly compare your body to someone else, what good does it serve you? You’re simply beating down your self-esteem. When you rate your body as less down, you’re moving further away from self-love. Rather than constantly comparing, you can love your body while you strive for progress in your weight and health goals. One of the bloggers I love following on Instagram is Cece Olisa. She’s a Nigeria American plus size blogger with an amazing sense of fashion. She carries herself with such confidence. She speaks a lot about body positivity, loving herself while still improving on herself and working on her health goals.
You can aim for better without putting yourself down. Putting your looks down is a form of self-loathing. It is detrimental to your life because you will likely allow yourself to be degraded and disrespected too. After all, if you can’t value your body and yourself, why would you expect someone else to? What you dislike is what somebody might even like about you. Don’t deny yourself the joy that comes from being comfortable in your own skin. Your body is worth it.
Make Positive Self-Talk Around Your Body a Habit
Yes, it sounds cheesy. Yes, it sounds silly but yes, positive self-talk matters. It’s what helps me to build my confidence. I tell myself I’m worth it. I tell myself my body is fine as it is. Affirming this about myself is empowering and uplifting to me. On days when I’m in doubts about my looks, I talk myself out of that bad mood or insecurity through positive self-talk. Through appreciating me just a bit more, I lift myself out of insecurities.
Focus on Health and Wellness with the Body
When it comes to your health and wellness, your body matters. It matters to be healthy and physically active in order to avoid diseases and a short life-span.
However, when it comes to striving to attain unhealthy goals and expectations that could negatively affect your life, that’s where a line has to be drawn. If you’re starving yourself to achieve a certain weight, that’s not healthy. If you’re over-eating and not considering the implications for your health, that’s a problem. Focusing on health and wellness helps you get the right priorities and mindset around your body. That’s why visits to the doctor matters. It’s not only a matter of how you look. You can be slim and not healthy. Through a medical professional, find out whether things are truly alright when it comes to your weight and health. Then, we have to be mindful about our health and nutrition.
Now, I’m curious about your thoughts because I know there are many different sides to consider when it comes to one loving their body. Do you believe it’s alright to change your features if it will make you happier? Do you see plastic surgery as beneficial or unnecessary? Let me know your thoughts with a comment below.
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