Hello all I wanted to talk about body confidence. It is something that I know for a long time I have struggled with and had to adjust to over time. There are still days I want my genetics and body composition to be different but alas I must also bask in the positives and the things I do personally love about my body and frame.
From young, I have been on the thinner side and also one of the taller ones. Whilst this wasn’t the life I chose and there was absolutely nothing wrong with my frame, there were times I wish I was shorter and also times I wish I developed earlier like some of my peers at the time. My frame used to attract all manners of names like toothpick, pancake, lanky and daddy-long-legs. I can laugh about them now because puberty and what not has kicked in but at the time they used to get to me a little bit. I mean I know kids can be mean but rah for a kid to want a whole different body and height is mad it’s not my fault that I grew early height wise.
My boobs are also on the smaller side which resulted in me having some issues with self-esteem because of how felt I looked in certain clothing. This is where comparison is the thief of joy can also be applied because there were times I used to compare myself to other girls who had more of an hourglass shape and I wished that I was more on the thick side. I mean puberty came in and gave me my period, a little B cup and a cute perky bum but for some reasons I wanted more so that I could fill out my clothes more. Crazy right? But I’m very sure a lot of skinny/slim girls wished they were thicker. A lot of girls are actually trying to gain weight but to no avail due to fast metabolism and fat distribution. There were days I contemplated getting surgery done when I was younger but my finances were just out of the question lol. I wanted liposuction, breast augmentation and a bugger bum for the reason of feeling more feminine and womanly. But then as I have gotten older I just thought to myself why do I want to be thicker? Who said that being thick is the be all and end all? It dawned on me that it was mostly for external validation which is just a huge no. Will my life be any different if I was thicker than what they are now or what? Most likely not. Plus, I would rather someone be attracted to my personality and intelligence than my frame. Now I won’t be obtuse and say looks don’t matter, they get your foot in the door, but if I was to lose my shape now what then? Over the years I have had to learn (and unlearn) some things to get me to the point I am at now but here the 5 main things I have had to learn and overcome.
I talk about my faith and relationship with God a lot but it is a part of who I am. I lean on the fact that God created me in His image for a reason. I was clearly meant to be tall for a reason so I should exude confidence when I walk into a room because of who my Creator is. I still wear my heels making my already long legs look even longer but nonetheless I am no longer shying away from my height. There are days where I actually feel like a supermodel when I wear heels and I wish for this feeling to be an everyday occurrence no matter what I am wearing or how I look. My relationship with God also reminds me that I am beautiful the way I am and that I should never ever feel the urge to go under the knife to change that. If there are any little things I can change about my body a better diet and gym can suffice. My confidence comes from within and shows on the outside.
2. Slow but gradual
Nowadays, I feel like I am more content and accepting of the fact that my metabolism is on the fast side but that fat deposits on my little fupa and sometimes my bum. However, the journey to this point of acceptance has been a slow and gradual one. Every now and again I wish my breasts were bigger, my stomach was flatter and my hips were wider but alas I can equally just slay with the body I currently have. In the meantime, I just can’t compare myself to others simply because just like with my walk with God, I need to focus on myself and my own body and do what is best for it to remain healthy. The road to acceptance is a long one that is constantly bringing up detours but alas I need to keep my eye and focus moving forward in my own lane.
3. Constant change
Contrary to my original belief just because puberty ends doesn’t mean growth and change does. I got the shock of my life when I noticed a change in my body during my Masters. When my jeans started ripping and my bras were looking on the small and tight side it dawned on me. Now a lot this was due to me eating like a pig and neglecting my gym membership that was 1 minute away but alas changes in hormones and surprise growth can catch you off guard. I guess your body as a female is always subject to change and your hormones and eating habits play a big role in it. There is even still pregnancy to come that will contribute to this change but it’s not my time to have babies yet. Nonetheless, sometimes getting thicker and adding weight can happen when you aren’t intending it to.
4. Gym and healthy eating
This method was very underrated for me simply due to my laziness and procrastination. Even though I have currently fallen off the gym wave (I will get back to it by fire and by force), I noticed some small differences for the period of the time during this year where I was committed to going to the gym and eating healthy. I ultimately felt good on the inside and much more energised compared to my current gym less state. Plus, a lot of the issues regarding my mid section can be easily fixed with healthy eating and consistently working out in the gym.
5. Learning what compliments me
I’ve adopted an attitude to just try things for myself and see how it goes in all areas of my life including my fashion sense. This involves me just going for it and wearing those particular clothes I fear would make me look manly or those swimsuits; if it bangs it bangs but if doesn’t then better luck next time lol. My small perky boobs actually look good and sit when wearing daring plunge neckline lines and size of my bum goes is proportionate to my slim tall figure. I used to be scared of wide leg trousers because I always thought they looked nicer on girls with wider hips but I can say that I love the opportunity to sport a wide leg especially when the trousers are long. Lastly, I love me a cheeky slit on a long dress skirt to compliment my pins and I really feel like I rep team #LegsForDays to the fullest. All in all, finding what works well for you and what compliments your shape can add to you feeling confident about your body.
As a slim girl, the pressure to be thick is there I mean look at the rise in surgery operations and even black Street options is prevalent further highlighted in a documentary on BET called Killer Curves (narrated by Lala Anthony). Even this new craze of taking Apetamin syrup in order to gain a few pounds which is readily available and has young teenage girls taking part. My body is my body and I can’t afford to go to extreme and possibly dangerous lengths to change it to fit into an idea of how a woman’s body should look like. It’s simply impossible because as cliché as it sounds we as women are beautiful in all different shapes and sizes.
What we need to do for younger girls and out future daughters is to instill a sense of confidence in their appearance. That they are fine the way they are and there is no need for any form of permanent yet potentially life threatening surgery to change that. Also, being more cautious with words we use about their appearance whether we like it or not words can hold weight and can stick with a child for many years to come taking a long time to dissociate from. The last thing I also want to point out is to stop invalidating when a woman says she has body confidence issues. You may think her body is perfect but we don’t see what she sees in the mirror everyday for her to feel the way she does. All women of different sizes have had their own personal issues and battles with body confidence and it’s not for us to judge and wonder why they do but for us to encourage so that they no longer need to feel that way where we possibly can.
Until next time