I became a teenager in the ’90s.
Where the models were stick-thin.
Curves were disgusting.
Boobs were shameful.
And anything over a Size 2 was a disgrace.
Then the 2000s brought tall, glamorous, thin Victoria’s Secret models that told me tan, tall, and D-cup was desired.
Now at 38, I see how toxic my relationship with my body is.
I see young women today embracing their bodies. All the shapes and sizes. I am baffled how they can be so comfortable in their skin.
Then I see companies using models that look like me.
But the damage has been done.
I hate my body right now.
And have in the past.
I have tried to throw it up, starve it, and exercise it all away. To be like them. The women in the magazines I read in my teens.
I look at my body now with the extra weight packed on by meds and age. Three new scars reminding me how sick my body was. The stretch marks from carrying my sons.
My clothes don’t fit. I try to shop for replacements but it ends in tears and despair. I can’t see beauty and femininity. I only see the stick-thin image burned into my brain of what beauty looks like.
I am told I am beautiful. Sexy. Hot. Desired.
I struggle to see it. And believe it.
And I want to. I really do.
Ridding myself of the lies I have heard for 30 years isn’t easy. Especially when I still compare myself to others who are thinner than me.
I am sharing this now because it is heavy. It’s exhausting. It’s all-consuming at times.
Me aching to love myself wholeheartedly and at the same time hating the way my body looks. Tears are forming as I write this.
Sure, losing weight will make me feel better. It won’t solve the problem or heal the issue.
I don’t know how to work on loving my body.
But I know sharing this is the first step.