RENÉ

Well, when I think about my body, I remember the first time I ever noticed that I had… a body.  I was about 10 or 11 years old. My secondary sexual characteristics were beginning to take form, though I hadn’t quite noticed.

The first thing that my body decided to grow, was my booty.  Now I was fairly skinny at the time and that didn’t work in my favour when my bum began to take shape and grow, because, well, it stood out on my skinny body.  It was part of the subject at family gatherings, with everyone having something to say about its size.  My family probably won’t even remember this, but I do. I remember it and I am conscious of how it made me feel then and how it still makes me feel now.

Because of my overt consciousness about my supposed “big bum”, along with my skinny body, which apparently did not go together, (like who said??), I became extremely self-conscious about my body over time and I unfortunately still am.

A few years after the big booty/skinny body phase, it became about my legs.  My legs were apparently quite big for my tiny waist, small boobs and lets not forget, the big bum.

Gosh it was a struggle.

The worst part about all of it, is that I was a swimmer, meaning I often had to reveal almost all. The shape and size of my disproportionate (as I thought at the time) womanly characteristics were on display for all, a few times a week and I absolutely hated it! I loathed standing next to mainly white girls, on the starting blocks, who all seemed to have great and “proportionate” bodies. I remember always looking around to see who may be watching me and I would hold onto my towel until the very last second before the race and absolutely freak out if I couldn’t see or find it just after the race.

Looking back, and thinking about it now, the way I saw my body, the way I noticed my body and what was different about it, was through the eyes of other people.  And today, I obviously still do, we all do, or we wouldn’t think of any of our attributes as big, too small, disproportionate, out of shape and the like.  We’d all be just right – and we are – if we are too see ourselves through our own pretty eyes.

Anyway, the story ends well. I love my body.

So much that I stand and look at it in the mirror more often than is necessary.  Yes, my legs are a bit “big” in relation to my body, but I love them (thank you to anyone who ever said that they were great, because after a while, I believed it and I love to wear dresses that show them now, which I didn’t before).

No, my booty is not too big for my body – it’s probably just right – I’m unfortunately still aware of it, but recently embracing a crop top or two and trying to leave behind the shirts/tops that cover it…not because I want anyone else to see it, but because, we-ell, I like it. I have almost non-existent breasts, I do have a small waist (by their standards), but so??

If it matters, think about WHY it matters.  If you’re healthy and treating your body right, then the “too smalls”, “too big”, “out of shape”, “disproportionate”, “this type and that type” labels just don’t matter. I try to remember this every day, and sometimes the mirror and peoples words and the media defeat me, but the things that people notice and label about my body, about your body, they’re the beautiful, because they’re the unique…embrace them!

RENE

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