I was browsing through my photo archives and a picture (above) from 2009 completely surprised me. I could not recognize myself and understand why I did that. I had taken multiple photos of myself trying cute outfits in the fitting room of a store but never bought any piece. If you thought I at least shared the pictures on the social media, you got it wrong. The pictures were saved in my iPhoto gallery completely hidden from the world.
There was neither a financial reason nor a physical one behind this action. I looked great then, healthy with a good BMI range. The clothes were from H&M and easily affordable. If I did not grab Starbucks coffee for 3 days, I could get multiple pieces. None of these external factors was the problem except a big internal one which was missing; confidence or the essence of body positivity.
As a teenager, I was not comfortable in my skin and I was embarrassed by my appearance. I broke out with pimples all over my face and I had big thigh and waist. I lived in it but I did not know my own body. I was not proud of anything. I always bought fashion magazines, read every word in the magazines and went through the pictures, again and again, unaware of what I was looking for. Now I realize that I was trying to find someone similar to me to validate myself. Unfortunately, all of the models looked very different than me and I was lost on finding my own body type until my early 20’s.
Currently, I am in a different phase and I can tell by being able to write this article on body positivity. Since 2009, I have grown bigger in size and so has my confidence. I began to love my body and respect it every day. I am proud that my body is capable to perform for all the activities that I have interests in. I know my body type which is curvy and I flaunt it to it’s best. I find it so beautiful and I am awed on its uniqueness from other beautiful body types. Thank god for Instagram, I see many women with a similar body to mine and I learn many things from them. I can discuss with them and compliment. I am no longer alone and lost.
I can go through my closet and see the transition of this journey. I have pieces from 2007 and each one of them is very personal to me. It reminds the presence of insecurity I had once with myself. It makes me feel positive. On 2014, I had to buy my first Levi’s short for a trip to Hawaii. It took me a while to try one and buy it from Lucky brand. Now, I rock that Levi’s short. It’s one of my most worn pieces. I feel comfortable, happy and sexy on it that I wonder why did I even hesitate to get it in the first place.
This love and confidence in one’s body do not come in a bottle. It takes time and we need to respect this time and journey. A cousin once told me that she wants to have my confidence to wear a bikini. At that time if I could, I would give her my piece of confidence. However, I understand that it’s her journey and I respected it by encouraging her to try the bikini. I will always continue to be an example for her and others. Nowadays, we discuss different kinds of body and the fashion world is also opening up to inclusivity. We are still far away from the perfect all body types love mode but we are taking steps and that’s encouraging. I just hope for younger girls who are trying to find someone like them does not have to struggle longer like me. They should be able to find their body type easily and learn to know and love one’s body.
Body positivity is love, respect and appreciation for one’s body and others. We should grow this vibe within ourselves and share it with others. Sharing is another form of appreciating and loving the types of body and nurturing body positivity awareness. Let’s spread it.