Even if it takes my whole life, I will love myself in the end.
It was 2010 and Shakira was singing “La Torutura” at the Grammys or the VMA’S. I was 12 years old. Sobbing because I knew I would never look like her. No one would ever want me the way they wanted Shakira. No one would ever be blown away by my still non-existent hips. I was doomed to a life of ugly mediocracy and I knew it.
2007 I was told I had gained too much weight that summer by the one boy I had been harboring a crush on for years. He was blonde and blue eyed in a sea of brown people. I thought he looked like an angel. He let me know he thought I looked like a whale.
2006 the boys would bully me and ask why would I even wear a training bra. It was all bra and no boobs.
2005 someone made fun of my hairy arms. Made some joke about using the hair on my arms to climb up a mountain. Maybe like Velcro? I don’t remember anymore.
2003 In the cafeteria sitting with all my classmates as they made jokes about some girl who happened to have my name who was so ugly and so annoying. I remember one girl looking at me and loudly whispering about this repugnant girl, smiling at me, laughing when she told me it was for sure not about me. Everyone else at the table laughed right after.
I remember walking home with my mom from school crying. I remember her asking me why I didn’t want to go back. Because I was ugly. And everyone knew it. How could I go back?
2023 and I am on the eve of my thirtieth birthday. I no longer weigh myself. I was shopping for a wedding dress and I realized taking pictures in the dresses I liked the most was a horrible idea. I began to pick at every little thing. Convinced myself I look like a linebacker. I tell myself I am beautiful on these days. I tell myself to be softer and kinder. But the voice in my head lingers. It sounds just like those kids in high school and middle school and elementary school. It has gotten significantly quieter as the years pass. And for that I am grateful. Maybe there is a silver lining. I marvel at my body. Taking so many years of abuse from the very person who carries it every day. Only God and every other woman understands how brutal we can be to ourselves. I have torn myself apart a million times. And maybe it will take the rest of my life to make up for the lies I let myself believe but I know with certainty that if it takes my whole life at least my whole life will become a journey of self-love and acceptance.
But oh dear body, I promise you that I love you. You are resilient. You are strong. Your skin is soft and caramel brown at the right time of the year. Your hair is so black it shines blue. Your eyes twinkle and not just when you’re about to cry. Your face is round like the moon. Your lips full, and with so many beautiful things to say. And when you’re old and gray and your skin is translucent with age I will love you even more. For you carried me through life. And for that I will always be grateful.
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Voting ends October 19, 2023 11:59pm
Cinthya- I am so very sorry for the cruelness you were exposed to during your younger years. Usually, I believe, bullying like that is simply a reflection of someone’s discomfort with themselves – they express it by throwing it onto you. Do your best to let it go, it never had much to do with you anyway. It was about their own pain. Congrats on getting married. I hope you lean into that joy and that love and continue to love yourself. I am sure the wedding dress does and will look incredible on you. Thank you for sharing. Keep shining. <3 Lauren