Yesterday I watched Earthling Maxi’s video on body positivity and self-confidence, and I kid you not, I was in tears by the end of it. Her whole message was inspirational and something that resonated deep in my heart — basically, she talked about her whole weight gain journey and her realization that she is in fact, more than her body.
I normally am pretty stripped down and raw on my blog but this post is something that is much deeper than what I would even admit to a friend, but somehow I’m okay…sort of with posting it on the internet. I’m going to be talking about my body positivity story today. It’s definitely going to be a little rocky, and I’m really scared to post this but I think what I have to say is going to be really relatable to a lot of you, and maybe even help you. Like I said, this is really raw, and I’m feeling as exposed and as vulnerable as ever but I know a lot of good will come out of this simple message.
I am skinny. I am not saying that in a “oh, look at me! I’m so skinny!” sort of way, it’s pretty much the truth. I’m 16 years old, 5’7, and 114 lbs. I’ve been underweight my whole life — I wasn’t even 100 lbs until I hit the summer going into freshman year of high school.
When I was younger, (around 12-13) I would hear people say how I was “anorexic” even though I was/am not. I ate a lot, and I still do, but my body just ran on really fast metabolism. Basically, I was sort of made fun of for how lanky and skinny I was. Of course, I filled out as I grew older, but I’m still pretty skinny.
At age 13, I wanted a butt. It’s kind of embarrassing, but I know you all did/do too, so whatever haha. I wanted a butt because I was made fun of for not having any curves. I wanted a butt and boobs. And of course I didn’t have a butt! Of course I didn’t have boobs then! I was 13!!! But all of this media and body ideals/shaming made 13 year old me so insecure in my own body. 13! I can’t even express how wild and horrifying that is…especially since I have a younger sister who’s turning 13 in a few months, it scares me to look at her and see that she might even be going through the same problem…God forbid.
At age 14 I started my first year playing high school field hockey. My school is really intense and highly ranked nationally so as you would expect, it was hard and the workouts were very intensive. From all the playing positions and running, I grew a lot of muscle in my legs and butt, but I didn’t realize. It wasn’t until a few months ago I looked myself in the mirror and thought, oh my God, my thighs are huge! And then for the past few months through spring and summer, I was so self conscious. Whenever I sat, I’d think: God, my thighs are huge!! When I was walking down the street, hanging out with friends and family, or even home alone, I would think about my thighs. What’s terrifying though is that MY THIGHS ARE NOT BIG AND THEY NEVER WERE. I am still stick thin and healthy, and my thighs are not in any way a correlation of my health of happiness. It’s embarrassing to even admit to MYSELF how much thinking has gone to such a minor part of my body and how that part of my body affected the way I saw myself.
It came to a point where I didn’t post a picture I loved because my thighs were bigger. It came to a point where I didn’t want to wear certain stuff because I was scared it made my thighs look bigger. But watching Maxi’s video and her surreal vulnerability in tearing up and just exposing herself in such a different way made me realize that I am more than my body and that I shouldn’t feel so uncomfortable in it. So what if I have “big thighs” or hairy arms, or broad shoulders? Why does it matter?
The thing that makes me so mad though, is all of the ridiculous body ideals that media sets out for women to look at on a daily basis. I mean, from Kim Kardashian to Kate Moss, those bodies are only one type. Why is it that media is making people think that there are only one, if not, a few body types that are beautiful? All bodies are beautiful! We are just bodies!
I feel that it’s so important to finally take a stand and make both young women and young men realize that you are beautiful no matter what your weight, your appearance, body type, you name it. That the “ideal” bodies you see are yes, beautiful but so are yours.