“I am not my body image”

Will anyone want me? Some days, it is more like how can anyone want me. I ask that more than I care to admit. Body image is something that many people have insecurities about. From a young age, I remember constantly questioning my body. I’m fat, my fingers are too stubby, my thighs are too big, my hair too frizzy, I need to wear more make-up, that isn’t what the dress looked like at the store, cankles, muffin top. The voice in my head is my biggest critic never relenting in its internal monologue.

Middle school is already an awkward time. After finally losing the braces and getting contacts in eighth grade, I thought the awkward phase was over. Yet at the end of the first marking period and report cards came out, it wasn’t the grades everyone was talking about. It was their weight. The school sent papers stating the students BMI status. All the girls were talking about their weight for the rest of the day, but I remained quiet. My criticisms of my body was confirmed. Even my school thought I was fat or “overweight” as the paper stated. I refused to cry at school and let everyone know my insecurity. I didn’t want anyone to see my weakness. Once home though, I remember breaking down and just sobbing. I felt fat and ugly and unwanted at thirteen years old. That one day forever made me question my appearance.

High school was not much better. I hated wearing tight clothing not wanting others to see my fat. I didn’t wear rings because I thought my fingers were too stubby. I would straighten or curl my hair for school. I wouldn’t leave the house without makeup. Yet all that effort to improve my looks, the voice of criticism didn’t stop.

In college, the self-criticism continued, but I decided I didn’t want to listen anymore. Instead of agreeing with all my negative thoughts, I began to fight them. I will always have the negative criticisms in the back of my mind. Even today I still struggle, the criticism is still there. I wear the clothing that makes me feel confident. I style my hair and make-up how I want rather than how I think I should look. Some days the voice is easier to ignore than others, but each day is a fresh start.

Perfection is not possible. I am not my reflection. I am not my body. I am who I am on the inside. I am enough for me. And that will be enough for someone else.