“I am not my curves”

I have never fit into what society classifies as the ideal standards of beauty. I don’t have long legs. I don’t have blonde hair and blue eyes. I don’t have a flat stomach. And I have never been a size 0, what every fashion magazine and the media seems to tell women to strive for. I am short, and therefore, so are my legs. I have brown hair and brown eyes. My stomach isn’t perfectly flat. I have big hips. And I am a size 4.

Growing up, I was never really impacted by my size. I was always healthy and never was fat. But coming to college, I suddenly was surrounded by women who were obsessed with their weight. Some who were just 100 pounds, others who barely ate, and some went to the gym every day. I started to compare myself to them; she went to the gym today and I need to go more than she does, so I should go too, right? In pictures, I would turn to the side so no would could tell how curvy I was in comparison to everyone else. They couldn’t share my clothes because they wouldn’t fit. They would wear belly shirts and crop tops when we went out, and I didn’t feel comfortable doing that because I knew how I would look compared to them.

I felt myself getting pulled into what society classified as beautiful. I would look though magazines at models and how the media portrayed beauty and secretly wish to look like them. I would pay attention to the comments my friends got and I didn’t such as, “Wow, you look so good! You’re so thin!” Was I not thin enough anymore?

I started to learn as my first year of college continued that it is okay that I am not a size 0 and most likely, I never will be, nor do I particularly want to be. Some people have those body types and that is okay too, but I was born with a figure that is not meant to be that petite. I am curvy and I am proud of my curves, but I am also not my curves because I will never let my body image define me. No one should let their body image define who they are. Everyone is beautiful in their own unique way, and the idea of beauty standards that our society puts out there is not a concept in my book anymore. I fit into my own beauty standards, but along with everyone else, I am also so much more than my physical appearance.