How I Learned to Love My Own Body By Loving Someone Else’s

So. I’m back, and this time, I’m anonymous because I’m pretty sure the person this article is about currently reads my articles. But it’s okay! I came to such a life-changing revelation that I wish I did not have to wait until I was older to know, so I genuinely want to share it with as many young women as I can and save them from the same frustration I have been through.

I have had many, many, crushes before. Small, “oh, he has a nice smile, I guess,” medium, “wow, looked at me today!” and large, “let me plan my outfit and hair to match the Instagram model’s look he once mentioned was hot,” crushes. Now as you might be able to tell, some of these are cute, even fun, and the other can be toxic and problematic. I, unfortunately, was stuck crushing on a person whom the last example is based on: someone, an oblivious and very close friend, who would not ever like me back. Let’s call him Nick.

I was tipsy one night and asked him something I would not have asked him if there was no alcohol in my system. 

“Does this dress make my ass look big?”

The reason why I would not ask him this sober was not that I was shy or conservative, but because I knew the answer would crush me, hard. I’m tall and skinny and he had made clear, several times while thirsting over Instagram models when we hung out, that his type was shorter, “thick,” girls. I was anything but. 

His answer, as expected, was, after taking a quick glance at my backside, “no.”

I was, as expected, crushed, but able to laugh it off because I was tipsy. 

While I never made obvious moves on Nick, I always believed and hoped that I could make him like me. Maybe he did genuinely like me as a person, because of our sense of humor, or my kindness. After all, we had been friends since childhood. But I always thought that I could make him like my body by wearing cute and revealing clothing. If I looked hot enough, what could possibly prevent him from developing a crush? I never understood that some people simply have a type that they are into, and how restrictive having a type can be on one’s taste or preference or even ability to crush. This does not mean that they can’t find someone attractive, it just means that they might have different levels of attraction based on the person’s build, eye color, hair length, etc. This might be because of their past partners, or simply just because. Anyways, I never fully grasped why, after many years of me looking my best around him, he had never fallen for me, because I never experienced having a type. All my crushes have varied from height, personality, physique, hair and eye color, and race. 

Until I met Winston. Obviously, his name is not Winston, I’ve just been watching a lot of New Girl lately. Anyways, Winston was cute, and sweet, and caring, and funny, and everything I’d ever wanted in a guy. And he was so attractive! I thought every inch of his face was perfect and absolutely adored his larger physique. He was not conventionally “hot”- while he was tall, he was plus-sized, and not particularly jacked. But I loved giving him hugs, I felt comfortable and felt like he conveyed his care for me by giving his bear hugs, too. To me, his self and body were one.

I’m using the past tense because, after a while, things didn't work out, but that’s another story. 

Anyways, when I was ready to move on, I was looking at other guys, and the few I met through mutual friends were conventional, “hot”- tall, thin, and jacked. While I could not deny that they were attractive, I personally was not attracted to them. Then I realized- I have a type. While I can negotiate on hair and eye color, even facial hair, I figured out that I like guys that are more filled out, whose embrace makes me feel cared for and safe. I finally understood why Nick was not crushing on me, and probably will not, the same way he would over shorter girls. And for once, I was ok with that. I was ok with knowing he would never like my body because I was in a position where I could never like Mutual Friend Guy’s body as much as I did Winston’s. In fact, my crush on Nick diminished so significantly after Winston, because Nick was on the thinner side; something I never thought could happen. 

I finally understood because I was feeling all this first-hand. 

After realizing this, I did not want for me and Nick to miraculously start dating anymore, as we did in my daydreams. When it hit me just how much having a type can inhibit a person from loving or not loving certain features, I did not want to be in a relationship with a person who was not obsessed with my body. While I strongly believe a relationship should be built of, and can certainly thrive off of, love of personality, I personally think that passionate physical side should be present as well. I did not want my daydreams of dating Nick to come true, because I wanted someone to be as head-over-heels for me, as I was over Winston. I wanted that pure joy and happiness to be felt by Nick towards me, and that just wouldn’t happen, because I was not his type.

I guess it’s a standard I have now- if you cannot love me at this extraordinary level that I recently discovered exists, I genuinely don’t want to be with you.

After learning this, I stopped forcing myself to do extra squats, and doing other things to become Nick’s type, because I knew that someone would absolutely adore my body as much as I did Winston’s. Because I finally knew that this pure and strong form of love exists and is possible.

Although random and kind of messy, I am so glad this lesson entered my life because I love my body now. And I love the fact that this kind of love exists- this self-love but also the love you have of another person’s being. 

I love myself and will keep myself healthy, but I won’t be trying to change myself anymore, for other people. Because now I know that my person is out there, waiting to love every inch of me.