I cannot bite my tongue to the importance of body image and self acceptance. I remember so vividly the insults that were spewed in middle school hallways and gym locker rooms. I was lanky and odd and out of place. To my dismay others wouldn’t let me forget. The teasing jackhammered through my life. A starched unlovely human being claimed by a winning Jenga tower tilted neck. A kink in a heart like an outdated home phone curly chord. A fizzled face like a stadium soda abandoned after the championship has been played, and won, and celebrated. The shivers of memory. A deadened girl that whisked herself into forgotten foam. I admit I was harsh. But anxiety and depression have a way of mushing all of the negativity into your surroundings and forcing you to inhale.
I was so paranoid of my appearance especially with the new additions of my geeky glasses and braces combo. I felt like a freak-show. I used to wear clothes over my swimsuit because the skeletal trace of my spine was appalling. I’d glance at the mirror in disgust. Besides the forced school pictures (cringe) no photos exist of my adolescence. I began to shut away my thoughts and chew down any ideas of speaking out because I felt that I had no worth. The pattern of self-hate is a sickeningly easy one to sketch.
I centered my thoughts on expression and found my voice through personal style and crappy yet necessary journal poems. In clip-and-paste magazines and redefining beauty for myself. Filling the pocketed shapes of womanhood with healthy weight and rationalizing that inches and pounds do not make a person. (Creativity and kindness honey, those are my measurements!)
This level of comfort and ease I am currently settled into would have had my younger self shaking her head in skepticism. It took many years (too many) to start to regrow my genuine self. Completely unashamed. I hope everyone reading this knows that they are absolutely stunning – just as they are.
even the prettiest garden has a few weeds.