A Journey: Loving Your Body

Living in today’s society, children have certain body images ingrained into their minds from literature, TV programs, movies, advertisements, and the people that surround them. I remember watching cartoons as a kid that were meant to empower young women such as The Powerpuff Girls, a program that is displayed on Cartoon Network, and seeing the main characters looked like average cartoon girls, but the adult women in the show were displayed as curvy women with an unrealistic waist size to hip size ratios with voluptuous chests and butts. It, like other shows, helps influence young children to have unrealistic body expectations. These expectations fueling a multibillion-dollar industry for weight loss preying off those same ideas that have been fed to us since we were born. Living in a society like we do it is hard to learn to love your body with all it’s flaws, but it is possible.

Learning to love your body does not happen overnight. While I was in high school, I was a confident size 2 and due to some medical conditions, I experienced a rapid weight gain. This weight gain caused my pant size to go from a size 2 to a size 10 in less than a year. This type of weight gain caused me to not even recognize myself when I looked in the mirror, and I became horrified with how my body transformed. I had bigger hips, my once abs had turned into soft pudge, and stretch marks covered my body. Since my weight gain happened so quickly, I was unable to fit any of my daily clothes and resorted to hiding my body in sweatpants, leggings and my brother’s t-shirts; I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror.

This want to hide my body only killed my confidence more. My best friend, who loves me unconditionally, did not even notice my weight gain and often remarked, “I wouldn’t know if you hadn’t told me, you have that hot bod.” Eventually though, after she noticed that I had only been wearing sweatpants and leggings for months, she convinced me to go shopping. On this shopping trip I slipped on a pair of jeans, and I couldn’t pull them up past my thighs. I was immediately overwhelmed by the idea of trying on clothes that wouldn’t fit. The second this happened my best friend, without hesitation, left out the dressing room and came back with a size bigger. I felt embarrassed but began to put them on anyways, and I felt comforted by the once familiar feel of the denim. My best friend began to shower me with compliments, and I left that day with outfits that accentuated my body rather than hid it. That day made me realize that I had to learn to love my body, no matter my size. This was just the first step to learning to love my body, because I began showing it to the world rather than hiding it, even from myself. The first step in learning to love your body is to buy clothes that make you feel confident and sexy because all body shapes and sizes are sexy.

A person who hates their body is typically convinced to change their body, but perhaps they should change their perspective on their body. I have never returned to a size 2 because I don’t need to--I just need to love myself for who I am. Yes, there are days where I think my stomach pokes out too much, or I want to hide my stretch marks but I put on clothes that I feel confident in and I don’t let my size dictate my happiness, because not only do I love myself but I WANT to love myself.

~All body sizes are beautiful big or small. I understand there are also issues with smaller body sizes that also struggle with loving their body. This article accounts for my own personal experience with my body size. ~