I was brought up in a very supportive, loving household. I’m really lucky in this fact. My parents never pressed any ideas or ideologies on me. My mom (who for the most part has always been a role model for me – despite our radically different political stances) was never open or obvious about dieting, weight loss, or her appearance. I never questioned why she was only eating cabbage soup for a week while we ate pizza or hot dogs. I didn’t start wearing makeup until I was a sophomore in high school, and I never really even learned how to wear makeup until late college (I’m still figuring that crap out for the most part). I never felt less than perfect, just the way I was.
That is, until I hit (about) 12 years old and started the same body hating phase we all seem go through. Puberty was hands down one of the worst times for me. My body was awkward, didn’t look like the other girls’, and I was miserable. I come from an Italian family, curves were practically in my genes (and past was almost always “what;s for
dinner”). Why is this? Why is it that even though I was in a supportive household where my weight was never questioned did I still manage to grow to hate the way I looked? (I like to blame the media, but that’s neither here nor there)
Even at my smallest (size 4) I was still unhappy with how I looked. As I’m moving into my late twenties (27 in May), I can see and feel my body changing again. Things are becoming even more curvy, and old favorite pieces of clothing aren’t fitting in the same way.
Being in my late twenties has also brought a different outlook on life, and in it a much more appreciation for my body. These curves helped carry me through my college campus where no bat an eye at a 10-14 inches of snow in a day and we still walked .5 mile to class. These thighs get me up and down the steps at work and in the parking garage when a lot of the other employees are practically marooned by an elevator being out of service. This body has helped carry me through the 26 (not 27 yet) years practically no
injuries (besides one crap ankle from a drinking accident – seriously, who puts an 8 inch drop off right below the door to a bar). Even when it didn’t want to, it’s been carrying me through the subzero temperatures and the polar vortex that’s been going around. I have no reason to hate it. Even when I was that coveted size four, people didn’t treat me differently. Life went on exactly the same as when I’m carrying a few extra pounds. It’s me looking in the mirror and critiquing myself. It’s me picking apart my body, instead of looking at it as a whole.
It turns out, I’m just as capable at looking in a mirror without the critique. Jennifer Lawrence has a semi-recent quote I like to reference, “What are you going to do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb.” And to whoever said nothing tastes as good as skinny feels – you clearly aren’t using Pinterest to its full potential.