“Oh she has a lovely face, it’s a shame she’s so heavy ”.
I’ve heard it, too many times. Wherever you look, there’s a picture, billboard of a photo-shopped perfect body, selling something. This perfectly thinned; semi-muscled/fully-tanned, long body supposedly represents the “standard for beauty”. The bar is set so high that it’s impossible to reach. Whatever the difference between your body and the unreal magazine model type, it’s unattainable. Fat is not pretty (or healthy), and there’s no other way around it…you’re never too thin even if you look (feel or get) sick. So it’s a never ending (self-hate) cycle.
We’re supposed to fit in, no matter what: thin is beautiful, fat is ugly… even disgusting. So people think they have the right to let you know (even if you haven’t ask for) their opinion and outlook on life, because “they know best”. Besides, some of them base and give their “constructive criticism” on pure love.
I saw how people looked at me, because it’s the way I learned to look at myself for a long time; insecure, ashamed of my body (among other things). In my teens I felt awkward, because I didn’t look like other girls my age. I was a “late bloomer”, and my parents were very strict about what a girl my age was allowed to do. Things like makeup, shaving my legs, plucking my eyebrows were out of the question (before my 15th birthday). Forget about boys…the ones I liked would NEVER like ME back, at least that’s what I was told. Needless to say I felt like a hairy, flat chested little girl; when all my friends were makeup wearing, normal height, beautiful girls. As I got older and, even when I was allowed to use eyeliner, lipstick and remove (what felt like) tons of hair from my legs… I still didn’t feel beautiful enough. I always looked at myself and didn’t like what I saw. I felt fat (even though I was a size 3), my (4’8”) height was a BIG issue, funny (too much/too curly) hair and a loud mouth.
I was born with a condition that required several surgeries and left a few scars throughout my body. Whenever we went to the beach I always got weird looks and even worse questions about how I got them. So if the weight and height weren’t enough, I “walked funny”. So I felt my life was a huge sundae with a cherry on top. I was made fun of in school by other kids, was teased and called names because of my “funny walk”. That bothered me some days more than others, but I managed. The worst part was, that the most hurtful comments came from people I loved.
I used to make fun of myself; how the world wouldn’t be able to take so much beauty and the natural balance of nature would tumble if I were thinner, being as beautiful as I was. How every man would fall at my feet, that it wouldn’t be fair to other women; anything to change the subject.
Today I’m still struggling with my weight. At 40 I’m dealing with everyday/everywhere pain. It’s really hard to keep up with others when going shopping and forget about going for a walk with my husband and our friends. Don’t get me wrong, my fortieth birthday reassured me of how beautiful I am and feel. I am a grown woman with a lifetime of experience and a full life ahead of her; adventures and surprises waiting to be discovered. Whenever I see my reflection, there’s a full-figured, messy/curly haired, full lips… really sexy and beautiful woman looking back. I feel good about myself; still it’s hard to hear what others think and judge just by looking at you.
I started going to the gym. I’m planning to lose some weight, not because I want to fit in or give in to what others think one should look. But because I want to feel less pain, walk easier, breathe better and have the energy I need to keep on being a full-figured, even sexier looking, loud mouthed, messy haired beautiful woman.