20 and a half is the amount of time I have been blessed with to walk the earth, two decades of having mixed feelings, self doubt and even depression. Growing up, being a simple girl, I was never really accepted with the “in” crowd. I had many friends, or so I’d like to think, but not for long. I had to learn on my own, something they do not teach you in school, something your parents may not tell you about, something you have to dig deep to grasp, and that was self love.
I was often teased about my appearance because I was very slim with bow legs, a trait that seemed to have been passed down to me by my father. I am roughly 5’6″, very petite, and found it extremely hard to gain weight due to my high metabolic rate, but this was not something I cared to explain. School can be cruel, a place that felt like prison with inmates from various places with different backgrounds and while having problems of their own, decided to make themselves feel better by throwing insults at other persons who are just a bit different. Not everyone grew up in a rough and tough manner and being the quiet, withdrawn person I mostly am, I did not know how to deal with it. In high school I became mildly depressed with a snappy attitude and quickly developed a strong dislike for school, waiting for the clock to strike 2:30pm Monday to Friday. I did not want to partake in physical activities or any activity that required me to change out of my uniform because I did not want to be seen. Walking by my fellow school mates who would call me names and snicker as I passed by and why? Because I did not have much physical assets for my age. Because I did not blossom into a voluptuous woman.
I hated my appearance and no one could change my mind. I did not go out on weekends, I did not want to look at myself in the mirror, I was upset clothing bought over a year ago could still fit! I was a very good student but I tried my best to make as few interactions as possible. I have been rejected by guys because I am “too skinny” and have been told to “gain weight and try again”. But then I did some research of my own, I decided to stop cowering, I decided to take these insults about my body with a grain of salt, I stepped out of my shell the day I reached within and decided that I will not play the victim anymore. Yes, I’m slim, I’m beautiful and I love myself no matter how many times you choose to comment on my weight.
In recent times, although people still comment on my body, because of the way in which I carry myself, I have been getting more positive than negative comments. I am now able to embrace myself with confidence, my petite body, my beautiful black skin, my big head and my bow legs. I have blossomed into the woman I was meant to become and have found people who accept me for who I am at all times. Many people think that body shaming only exists when a person has a more voluptuous body or when someone is overweight but this is not so. I have been accused of starving myself, among other things when this is so far from the truth. So, take me with my pointy hip bones, exposed collar bones and skinny fingers or leave me alone, because I love myself and I Am More Than My Body.