JEANETTE

When I was in high school I was super skinny…  Like bones all round and I was constantly being told how pretty I was…  Then first year came round and I picked up weight… Not a lot… My gran started telling me I was fat…  And the compliments stopped…  for a while I was really self-conscious and concerned about what people thought and then I saw an old photo from my matric dance and I realised that I had been too skinny.  I looked like I had an eating disorder, never minding that I used to eat a lot.  And now I had “filled out”.

The thing with being skinny and blonde is that people think you’re a bitch, because of the other skinny blonde girls.  The ‘barbies’.  The populars.  But I wasn’t a bitch and people didn’t stick around to find that out, because they “judged the proverbial book by it’s cover”.

I was never big into the whole fashion mags and scene so I can’t say that I was influenced by that and wanting to be skinny but for a while I missed the “you’re pretty” compliments and I sort of wished I could be skinny again, but once I stopped worrying about that and started taking better care of the rest of me I realised that being skinny isn’t everything.  People stuck around to get to ‘know’ me.  Instead of feeling “filled out” I felt curvy.  People started saying things like:

I had beautiful long hair

I had beautiful unique eyes

I was smart.

I had stunning skin

A sparkling smile

They liked my laugh

I was sweet, friendly, happy

And suddenly I wasn’t just pretty.  Suddenly I was happy with how I looked, I had so much going for me. I was no longer trying to please others, I was only in it for myself.

I don’t know why my body image changed from “I hate myself. I’m so fat” or when it changed really, but it did and I’m glad that it did.  I’m also glad that I didn’t stay skinny.  Being skinny/thin is overrated anyway.

I might not be perfect in your eyes, but I am perfect in mine, and my opinion about myself is all that matters.  I don’t care what others think anymore, I assume they are jealous if they say mean things.

JEANETTE

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