Yesterday MY BEST FRIEND IN THE ENTIRE WORLD AASHNA and I had long conversations about many, many things like teenage drama and how it affects you, feeling crazy and isolated, and being authentic but something that stuck with me was our conversation about body dysmorphia and the scary world of not loving your body or at least accepting it.
In the midst of our conversation about body acceptance I started to notice how reluctant I was to share my experiences and my past thoughts and emotions and I realized that for the first time in my life I was admitting what had gone through my mind instead of brushing it off like I did for the past six years. It’s so bizarre to me because I like to think I’m someone who is strong enough to confront painful situations and deal with them in an effective way but when it comes to body acceptance I guess it’s completely different.
It’s easy to tell someone to love their body and to accept it because all bodies are beautiful, and they are, but I didn’t realize that I was preaching all of this when I was going through an internal struggle myself.
And this isn’t me saying skinny is beautiful and anything else is not BECAUSE THAT’S FALSE. ALL BODIES ARE BEAUTIFUL AND EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, BODIES ARE NOT TRENDS, AND THEY ARE NOT ONLY BODIES BUT HUMAN, SO HOW CAN YOU EXPECT SUCH AN “IDEAL?” But what I am saying is that a lot of people think being called slender and skinny is a compliment because that’s society’s standard of beauty, or being super bodacious and curvy. It may seem weird that all of this is coming from a skinny bitch but trust me, everyone goes through body issues of their own. I could most definitely keep this to myself and use my experiences to help me grow, but I can also show people another side of body image not from the “fat” side but from the “skinny” side.
I was always a really skinny girl and it was solely based off of my metabolism and genetics (let’s just say I didn’t weigh 100 lbs until I was in high school), and like most girls I wasn’t aware of the beauty standards placed among women’s bodies until I was twelve. When I was twelve I befriended this girl who told me my boobs were too small and I had no butt which was and still is true because that’s not my body shape. She made me think that I needed to have curves to be “feminine” so there I was, twelve-year-old Brenda doing what I thought needed to be done: wear push-up bras everyday. I was wearing push-up bras at age twelve because I thought I needed to have bigger boobs.
Then when I turned thirteen I started to hone in on my butt, I started doing all of these stupid squat challenges to build a bigger butt. And on top of that, the awareness of my body image started brewing and I became a hypochondriac. I didn’t understand what balance meant, I wouldn’t eat anything but super healthy meals while going through intense fitness regimens. I discovered Tone It Up at this point so I would follow these workouts once or even twice a day everyday just to tone up my stomach and my butt. And while it’s a great thing to be fit and healthy, it came at the expense of my happiness and comfort. Physically I felt fabulous! Emotionally and mentally I felt miserable because I would see all of these toned Instagram stars and fitness gurus with curves but also abs and I felt like I needed to look like one of them. I didn’t realize that I was so young and that I didn’t need to feel so insecure in being a little skinny bitch and there I was, thirteen and insecure. Mind you, I didn’t count calories or anything like that because I didn’t want to be so absorbed in it all but I was in a different way.
In the beginning of high school I played field hockey and from intense training sessions and running exercises my thighs began to become more muscular. With sports and my squat challenges I noticed that my thighs were visibly larger and so did my family members. Their emphasis on what I was already insecure about made me feel like there was yet again, another problem that was itching to be fixed. I would wear flowy dresses in the summer to keep my thighs hidden and loose pants in the winter to prevent showing my stupid thighs to the world. But screw that because we all know thiccc thighs save lives.
The thing is, I knew my body had changed but only to people who were close to me, my body had the same shape but was only a stronger and more muscular. But to me it was like everything needed to be fixed, I had body dysmorphia. I saw my body as this monstrous thing with so many “flaws” when really they weren’t flaws, only ideals that had put onto me at a young age. The worst part of it all was that I really didn’t have a problem with tiny boobs, small butts, and big thighs on anyone else but me. I genuinely thought that everyone’s body was beautiful but somehow I couldn’t think that of myself. Everything was in my head, it wasn’t as drastic as I thought it was, and I knew that but I could stop myself from letting my tiny boobs, nonexistent butt, and muscular thighs take over my life but I couldn’t help myself.
At some point, my body dysmorphia started to fade away and I’m now eighteen and so much more happy and confident in my body — I do workout (when I feel like it), I do eat healthy, and I am conscious of my health; but I also love to be lazy, indulge in junk food, and live a little. Of course I haven’t fully accepted my body yet, sometimes my past insecurities haunt me and I focus on them when I’m trying on outfits, but at the end of the day, this is my body and I can either drive myself ballistic or just accept my body and work towards a happier life.