When this photo showed up in my feed a few days ago, it made me smile…not because of my expression, but because of seeing how far I have come since then.
I like to think of myself as a body positive activist. However, even I have times where I doubt myself and pick myself apart. It feels like society is set up for self-hate. With summer upon us, my Facebook feed has been flooded by self-hate memes for not having a “beach ready” body and having arms that are too fat to be seen in public. There are so many women that are going to spend this summer either miserable and sweating because they are wearing layers because they are afraid someone is going to make fun of their bodies. There are women that will not go to the pool because they have been programmed by society to feel that they need to be able to present the “perfect body” in order to enjoy some sun and splash time.
Why do we do this to ourselves? No matter what size we are, we are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea! Even if I wake up tomorrow magically skinny, there will be something else about me that I am supposed to hate, according to haters on the internet. I don’t feel that I owe it to the internet to not enjoy the summer because of ridiculous standards. I spent years not wearing tank tops or cute dresses. I refrained from wearing a swimsuit in public because I was afraid of what some ignoramus might say. Do I know that I am fat? Yes, yes I do. Does it make me worth less as a person? No. No it does not.
I know I have said it before, and I am going to say it again. Whether or not, we get down to the perfect size, it is okay to love ourselves as we are right now. It is okay to be you. It is okay to enjoy life, and honestly, it will make you feel better about yourself. The more we bash ourselves and put ourselves down, the more we are just feeding into other people’s expectations. If you want to lose weight, that is fine. I am not saying you should not. I am saying that you should not think less of yourself because your weight, your butt, your boobs, your arms, your tummy, or (insert anything here) does not fit the mold.
This summer, I challenge you to be bold. I challenge you to hold your head high. I challenge you to hold yourself to different standards than what we are being brainwashed to believe. Wear what you want. Do what you want. Be what you want, but above all…LOVE YOURSELF WHILE DOING IT!
*All photos were taken by Victor Devilbliss with MUAH by Making Faces Professional Make Up