When I received an email asking if I’d be interested in participating in this great initiative, I said yes almost instantly.

Just moments after that I began to wish I could take my ‘yes’ back. I am fiercely protective of my space and the thought of having to vulnerable terrified me. I eventually got over the anxiety and began to really think about my body image, I stood in front of the mirror longer than I usually do. I became more aware of my thoughts and feelings towards my body.

After the introspection and countless soliloquys, this is what I know: I am a woman obsessed with being comfortable in her own body (skin).

On my best day, I am my own body goals. On these days, I stan hard for myself. I bask in all my glorious “imperfections” and I cannot be reached, forget cloud nine, this kind of high launches me into the stratosphere. I stand tall and unbothered by the exponential growth I experience in my butt region, my thick thighs and my very apparent, in-your-face curves.

For the longest time I couldn’t stand walking down the streets, with all those comments about my body and random men shouting “my size” whenever I’d walk past. I refused to wear anything that accentuated my curves or my butt. These days I wear whatever
and walk wherever I please.

This is not to say that I don’t struggle. On my worst day I am Wilhelmina Slater to my Ugly Betty. The voices in my head have no respect for my self- esteem. These are my worst days and I thank God they don’t come around too often. On these days, the negative voices in my head defeat me and my thoughts dominated by a plethora of society’s images of the perfect female form. I compare myself to the photoshopped images on magazine covers and think “if only….”.

Intellectually I understand that comparison is a true thief of joy but I do it anyway. I avoid the mirror because I have nothing but negative critique for the image reflected back at me.

To snap out of this craziness of comparison I think about all the women I look up to and I
remember what matters. It is not their great physic that I am in awe of. I marveled at the industry of their minds, their generous spirits, their passion and ability to succeed. The world doesn’t stop because I have to buy jeans the are two sizes bigger.My value doesn’t depreciate. I have have had to internalised the fact that what really matters is that I am in good health.

Yes, one should absolutely feel great about their body, take care of it, exercise, eat right but we all need to make friends with the people in the mirror. Change what we can and embrace the “imperfections”. We need to try as much as humanly possible not to let society’s expectations become our inner voices and cut ourselves some slack.

Ultimately, I am grateful for my body. My body has carried me through life’s ups and downs and it will continue to do so for many years to come.


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