I’m going to tell some ugly truths right here…and I’ve put it off, because, I really just didn’t know if I could say all that I want to in the way I really want to.
So, here goes… (deep breath)
I have spent a pretty good amount of my life absolutely hating my body. Why? Because I’m basically a midget. And it’s sad you know, because no one grows up naturally hating the way they are. Many, many outside factors have their say and how you take that, well, it can dangerously mold exactly the way you see yourself…your very identity. And that is not right.
For me it started when I was a young teenager. I used to do gymnastics, never really went anywhere with it, I was never bothered with doing it for a figure, I just absolutely loved the fitness challenge it presented. I trained 14 hours a week after school and on weekends and about half of that was devoted to developing strength. Diet to me was absolutely not even a thing. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and I had no idea what a calorie even really was. My nickname was ‘the tank’ and that was fine with me…I never had an issue with my body and apart from all the ‘short’ jokes I copped, I was more concerned about my wog nose than anything.
Until I noticed more and more, people commenting on how small I was, how I must eat like a bird, and how I ‘worked out’ too much. Then I began to hear the one liners going around like, ‘real women have curves’ or ‘only dogs eat bones honey, real men go for meat’. Gradully, more and more, I began to really hate my body, for everything it was and everything it wasn’t. Cruelly, society has forged a lie that will swallow anyone up who will fall for it – that we are not enough. And I fell for the lie that I wasn’t even a real woman with the body I was in.
I found it worse when I developed some food intolerances. I’d go out to parties, or dinners and nibble on some salad because it was literally the only food there I could eat. I was often smirked at and teased about eating ‘rabbit’ food and told to go and eat a burger by people I didn’t even know. And the amount of times I was told that I needed chicken fillets to fill out my chest….ridiculous. We are always told that we should be more than what we are, less than what we are, bigger, skinnier, taller, that somehow whatever you’re lacking in the body department is going to hold you back. Hold you back from what? What makes a woman with an E cup chest, more than an A a B or a C cup? Seriously, have we really stooped that low people? I actually really like my boobs…I don’t need chicken fillets to fill out my chest thanks. It’s fine as is! I’ve been told to my face that I have anorexia by people who have looked at me and assumed. Never once have I had an eating disorder….unless standing in front of the mirror wishing you were fat is one. I was even once told through a microphone at a public event in front of hundreds of people that I needed to eat a big steak because I was such a skinny bird…I was humiliated, standing there while hundreds of strangers roared with laughter.
C’mon, no wonder people struggle with their identity…no matter what or who you are, I have found, that there is no perfect body type that anyone will ever attain to.
And there bloody well shouldn’t be.
I’m just sad it took me till my mid 20’s to figure that out and to embrace my body the way it is.
That and a whole lot of encouragement from Wonderhubby who would tell me every day how much he loved me and my body the way it was. Even that took me years to believe him.
See, I’m always going to be small, it’s actually in my DNA, and I like that about me. Yes, it’s true, small and skinny people get body shamed too….just gonna say that right now. I think anyone – no matter what – gets body shamed at some point in their life. But you know what? I am enough. You are enough. All the things that I have been teased about and shamed about with my body, I have come to love. Do I still get comments? Yes! But they don’t send me into a body hate spiral anymore.
I’ve been told many times since I was a teenager, that I’m too small to amount to much. That I’m too little for this, I’m too weak for that. But it all made me all the more determined to push for what I wanted to achieve – and do you know what? I did what I was told many times I ‘couldn’t’ do.
My point of this, is that, I wish for people to stop hating their bodies, their lives. Comparison is an absolute killer to your identity and self image. Just because someone or even many, may tell you that you are not enough, doesn’t mean that it’s the truth.
Go love yourself. Go rip off all your clothes, stand in front of the mirror and look at all the things you like. Look at all the things you don’t like so much and start to love you for you and accept the way you are. Your body isn’t made to please everyone and we should never attain to that. Actually, that’s a pretty dangerous place to be.
It’s a bit cliche, I know, but if you’re identity is going to be based on how your body looks, you will probably never have a great identity. Truth is, we all have things that we probably need to change about ourselves. Health wise, attitude wise – there will always be something in us to work on. But don’t take it as a negative in your life. Take it as a challenge to better yourself, push yourself beyond what you think you’re capable of, and live your life, ever exceeding and excelling in all that you do.
Please do yourself a favour and love your body, but most of all, love you for you. Your insides, and your outsides, your quircks and your weird capabilities. Identity is a very, very small part your body and an incredibly huge part who YOU really are – your personality, your humour, your ability to see things differently to others, your absolute uniqueness. Go look in the mirror again, and look past the skin, and see you for who you really are…more than outward appearance…more than who many may briefly see as they walk past you. Look beyond it all at yourself and start to love you from the inside out.
Because, Y O U A R E E N O U G H
You’ll change your perspective – and you’ll change your life.