As many of you know by now I am a freshman at Connecticut College. Connecticut College has 2 weeks of spring break. I know, it’s a blessing! I looked at the 2 weeks as an opportunity to travel with close friends for the first time. My friend, Vivi, is a Miami native and so when she invited 4 other friends to her house in Miami I definitely joined in on this trip. One of the first things that comes to mind when people think of Miami are beaches, tanning, and bikinis. All of which are great, however I am one of those individuals who is terrified of bikinis. I knew that I wanted to enjoy my spring break, however being self-conscious about my body in a two-piece interfered with that goal.
I have always been self-conscious about my body, mainly because of the two different cultures I was living in. I come from a Latinx family where a lot of beauty is emphasized on a woman’s hourglass figure. Having thick thighs, big chest, and curvy was the ideal. I also grew up in the U.S where the beauty standards are extremely Euro-centric. The beauty standards in the media emphasized on having thigh gaps, slim figures, and, let’s face it, being white. Growing up I did not feel like my body could not have a say on beauty. I did not feel that I could call myself beautiful until I fit the pre-set beauty standards. I tried to fit myself into the American beauty standard that were clearly not meant for me. It was not until college where I finally started to catch my breath as I ran through my self-love journey. I go to a PWI and I have grown to realize that my values and body image is always going to be different from those around me. I refuse to hate on my thighs, skin, and size because it is not considered beautiful to the majority.
I actually had two close friends accompany me in my Target swim suit shopping adventure. I tried on swim suits and they were cheering me on throughout the entire process. When I went to Miami, all of my friends there complimented me on how I looked. Many people do not know about my battle with body image, so they probably don’t know how much of an affect their compliments had on me. When my friends complimented me, it felt like they were cheering me on as I took this big step forward in my body positivity journey. I still have a long way to go in my body positivity journey. However, I learned a key lesson this spring break, that is to always take risk because you can learn so much. Wearing a bikini seemed so risky at first. Who knew that I was going to feel so confident at the end if I did not take that risk in the first place?
P.S. Loving yourself makes a friend’s trip much more enjoyable. Just look at everything that I got to enjoy!
“First Time I have ever seen a Palm Tree”
“Get you a friend who loves and supports you”
“A Beautiful Miami Night”