There seem to be a lot of discussions I’m seeing recently surrounding body image and body type. Then again, it’s always a point of discussion which usually involves participants criticising the areas of their bodies they dislike and would do away with, if given the chance. Today I read a piece by my fellow blogging buddy Bim Adewunmi (Yoruba Girl Dancing) about how she is one of those rare women who doesn’t have a complaint about her body, and it’s funny, because I have felt a similar way for a while now. I’m curvy. I always have been, and probably always will be.
The other day, in a moment of complete boredom, I went through all the photos I am tagged in on Facebook, and while I was reminiscing it occurred to me that there has not been a time in my life that I haven’t felt fat, or as though I was the largest person in the group. Take the above photograph for example; it was taken while on a holiday in St Lucia in 2006, where I went with (among others) two of my closest girls who are petite, sample sized fashionistas. I felt like SUCH an elephant on that trip, and I was quite paranoid about wearing a swimsuit in front of everyone else. But when I look at the picture now, I think to myself that I quite like my shape and size there, especially because in the years that have followed there have been times I have put on quite a bit of weight, which then makes me want to slap myself for wasting energy worrying about it back then. I’m quite fortunate in that when I put on weight, it spreads evenly around my body, so I still have the same shape… there’s just more of it. I enjoy food, I can’t help it. Food is such fun. I don’t binge on crap continuously, but I also don’t deny myself treats. In the past year I have found a healthy diet plan and exercise I enjoy that works for me, and if I fall off it, it’s not the end of the world, I just know I have to be a little more focussed, but I don’t stress myself about it. I’ve tried a few diets in the past, and I have learned that another thing that has come with me accepting my body is I realise I don’t have to put pressure and time constraints on it if I want to lose a bit of weight. I just know that I will lose what I want to lose eventually. As much as I like what I have, there are still areas I want to improve, like the seemingly impossible to flatten mid-section, but I’m not obsessed about it. I never buy clothes in a smaller size and tell myself I’m going to diet to fit into it. That’s nonsense to me. Life’s too short for me to not just buy this top or dress in the necessary size and make it work.
Even in terms of the opposite sex, I’m not going to be everyone’s type and I’m not naive enough to assume that all men want very slim or skinny girls. Despite what the media try to make us believe, I know this isn’t true, and I know that there are men who are very attracted to my body type, so there you go. I receive compliments and I’ve learned to take them on board instead of dismissing them.
So obviously if you aren’t happy with yourself then do something about it, but don’t let it consume you. That’s boring.