As I am about to step out of the house for my lunch date with my only girlfriend I open the closet to see what cute outfit is worthy of the occasion, Leticia rudely interrupts me as usual telling me that my favorite outfit makes me look FAT but this time instead of being disappointed and taking what she has to say to heart I take a look at myself in the mirror and gush at how beautiful I am. You see I have had a problem with my body image before because of Leticia (my anxiety) and also because of people around me, you know those harmless comments you make about someone’s weight? yeah those just refrain from commenting on that especially to people like myself who suffer from mental health issues.
I can count the times when I was told that I am too skinny by my family and friends that I need to put on some weight because It will be good for my image, this made me feel like there was something wrong with how I look and maybe I am not good enough to wear certain outfits as they require a little more meat which I did not have. When I did finally put on some weight I started getting the “OMG you are gaining weight what are you eating?” or “OMG you are gaining weight are you pregnant” remarks , now I am stuck here confused as to what exactly is expected of me. Honestly can you guys make up your minds how do you want me to look? How is about everyone just let me be? I just wanted to feel good about myself and just wear outfits that I love. Do you know how hard it is to feel pretty and actually be comfortable in your own skin when everyone else tells you otherwise and your mind is convincing you otherwise.
This led me to hate taking full pictures of myself because all I saw was flaws and all the reasons why the outfit looked wrong on me. It made me feel like everyone else can tell too although for a woman my age and height my body is just the right build and size. I used to be a size 32 and now I am a size 36. I have never been more comfortable with my body as I am now not even my anxiety can convince me otherwise if anything I have gained the confidence to strut my stuff. In a world that has made body shaming a norm I have decided to shut down the naysayers and focus on what is good for my mental health and self esteem.
It is heart breaking to see how people are okay with attacking others based on how they look and make fun of them, the issue of body image and weight is a very sensitive one because there are a lot of factors contributing to it. Sometimes it is beyond a person going to gym or eating right, other people put on or lose weight due to health reasons which are not in their control and they try hard to live with that and be okay with how they look without the pressure of everyone expecting them to look like they have just walked out of a magazine cover. We are tired of people telling us that we have to look a certain way or dress a particular way because of how our bodies look, according to who?
Since when do we have to ask for permission to look how we want? Who has made you in charge of body image affairs that makes you worthy of criticizing people. The world is already going through so much cruelty we will not add body shaming to the list of all the wrong that is in the world. The best way to start is to adopt the culture of “If you have nothing good to say don’t say anything at all” , we need a whole lot of positive vibes and kindness to keep us sane during all the chaos that we are going through.
It takes too much courage to overcome the lack of self-esteem and self confidence and if you are doing this or have done so keep it up, give yourself the credit you deserve because this is not a fight with only the negative comments but also a fight with part of yourself that needs more loving and nurturing. A part of you that is lost in a dark place trying to fight its way back to the surface to receive light and when it does you get a new sense of understanding of who you are and the importance of self love, being comfortable in your skin and completely in love with your flaws.
You need to understand that there is nothing wrong with you and know that it is okay not to feel so confident sometimes because we all have our mental days but what is not okay is being in that state of mind permanently. Gone are the days where we seek validation and approval from people about who we are, now we stand tall and ignore all the noise because we know we are worthy and that we are incredible with all our flaws. Work on your inner self and love yourself so much that no one can ever change your mind about how you see yourself it doesn’t matter if you are too skinny or too fat or out of shape your body is a work of art by the creator and deserves to be glorified.
I am proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and being able to overcome my body image issues even through anxiety I have learnt to love myself all over again all it took was accepting things about myself that I thought I hated, things that made me different from everyone else. I realized that these are the things that I needed to love more as they are what makes me unique, they identify who I am from the rest of the pack. DIFFERENT is good in fact it is better, no one is like you and that is your superpower.
Be kind to yourself and be even more kind to other people because we are all going through things you know nothing about. Do not be the reason someone is locked up in misery because of something you said.