I wasn’t always fat shamed, but I did always have issues that challenged me regarding my body image. Having insecurities while trying your hardest to fit in was a struggle I faced growing up. Often, I would reminisce about my youthful body. Looking at old photos still brings me to tears.
There was one photo in particular that still gets me emotional. I was trying on the prom dress I bought, but never got to wear. It was a beautiful, pink strapless mermaid dress, jeweled, with rubies stitched into the design. But ultimately, I didn’t go to prom because I was was never asked by anyone.
In hindsight, not being asked to the prom shouldn’t have stopped me from attending. Anyway, the picture – you could literally see my happiness and excitement radiating from the image. But deep down inside, I recall the turmoil within – the disgust I had surface about my body every time I looked in the mirror. At times, even until now, I long to be the size I was in the past, wishing I could make parts of me shrink back to that size in order to fulfill my body goals.
[media-credit name=”Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh” link=”http://instagram.com/snake” align=”aligncenter” width=”1200″][/media-credit]
I recall a time when I was going through my weight gain, and a woman asked me, “Are you pregnant, or did you just get fat?” It most definitely caught me off guard, but I responded nonetheless, “Just fat.” It’s one thing to recognize your body changing and dealing with it internally; it’s another thing to have to forcefully entertain people’s ignorance when it comes to YOUR BODY.
There is always a fear in the back of my mind that society will continue to promote the following: Fat girls can’t be loved. Fat girls are not attractive. Fat girls are always going to be fat girls, and there is no other way to view them. At least, that’s how I read their messages to me. Fat shaming knew how to break my spirit, but with time and wisdom, I have learned how to love every curve, and every imperfection on my body.
I want to express to every girl, regardless of size, that you are beautiful. You are worthy of love and acceptance. It’s easy to fall in love with an image that may not be real. Imagine falling in love with someone whose beauty oozes from the inside, out. So many people possess this quality – we just have to give them the chance to shine instead of letting them pass us by without even a notice.
Let’s change the idea that beauty is only a label used for certain body types. Beauty is universal, and it comes in all shapes and sizes. It took me a long time to appreciate all that I could give the world. I had to first learn to love myself without worrying if someone else could ever love me. Once I was able to understand that, I opened the door of confidence and positivity, which eventually took me to new levels in life.
Understanding the need to block the negativity of those who engaged in fat shaming was one thing, but learning to end the cycle of self fat shaming was my biggest accomplishment. I found that while I could not change others’ perception of me or my body, I had the power to change it for myself. When I came to that realization, it was so rewarding. I felt light and refreshed – as the weight of the world came off my shoulders.
I want the world to recognize that love is meant for all body types. My body is a part of me. I can’t switch it with someone else’s. It’s my safe place. It guards my emotions. It’s a sanctuary that should be respected. We are given one body in this life. Respect it. Love it. Cherish it. It took me 26 years to admire the woman I was, I am today, and the woman I will become – because the evolution of my body is perfectly imperfect, and I love every imperfection I posses…it’s what makes me, me.