"There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me that is the true essence of beauty." -Steve Maraboli
Millions of people have been led to having an eating disorder because they hate what they look like. Millions of people battle depression because they are told by society that they can't look a certain way or act certain way or be human. Being young, looking in the mirror, and knowing that you don't look like what everyone says you're supposed to look like was always the toughest thing for me. It was always the reason for the thousands of tears I had shed growing up because I had never considered myself to be beautiful. It had taken me a while to truly believe that I could ever be beautiful, but fortunately for me I had my awakening moment and now I'm more confident than I have ever been. Unfortunately, there are still others who struggle with this on a daily basis. Luckily, growing up I had always had such a great support system but it angers me so much to know that there are others who struggle with their body image and have people taking away their chances of self-love.
Everyone who knows me knows that I love to shop at Torrid. Every time I walk in, I always know that I'll be able to find something that makes me feel good. So one day I decided to go in and look for an outfit for an occasion I had coming up. During my time spent there, I heard something that I never would have expected to hear that truly left me shocked.
There was a girl at about 15 years old shopping with her mother. When I spotted the two of them, I noticed that the girl looked sad. I was curious to know why until I heard the way her mother was speaking to her. Her mother blamed her for why she looked the way she did, told her she would never find anything nice, and that she was too fat. Saying that this enraged me would be putting it mildly. As she and her daughter stood behind me waiting in line to purchase their items, I was in the middle of having a conversation with the cashier talking about how comfortable people should feel in their own skin when the mother told me that I was promoting unhealthiness.
Now, one thing that I would like everyone to know is that you don't have to be thin to be healthy. I might be a bigger girl but, I exercise, eat right, and I look after my health. And when I say that it is okay to be a bigger girl, I'm not saying that it is okay be unhealthy, I'm saying that it is okay not to fit into the mold that most of society wants us to fit into. So you can imagine my shock when she said this to me.
My response to her was, "No, I'm not promoting unhealthiness, I'm simply saying that if you have curves, you shouldn't have to want to hide them because they're what make you, you. And you don't know what my health records are. In fact, I am very healthy. I also noticed how upset your daughter was before and I want you to know no one should ever be body shamed. You daughter is beautiful and there is nothing wrong with her size. She is not the one who needs to work around the clothing she shops for, its the clothing and the people who make them that need to work around her." When I finished purchasing my items, I turned to the girl and apologized for what happened, all while her mother decided to throw around negative words, but they were choice words that I chose to ignore and walked right out of the store.
Being able to have confidence in who your are or what you look like is not something that comes easily for people of all ages, especially those at younger, more vulnerable ages. And even though I have a lot more confidence in myself - yeah there are times where I catch myself pointing out my flaws in the mirror, but then I realize that flaws are the beauty in what makes everyone different and that's nothing to be ashamed of. That just goes to prove that everyone goes through those moments, but to have someone be the reason for why you don't like your appearance is 100% NOT OKAY.
I hope that one day, she will be able to break away from all the negativity that surrounds her. For anyone who is reading this and is also struggling in the same way, know that you are most definitely not the only one. Always be who you are no matter what anyone else says. We are reaching a new era - The Curvy Girl Era.
"Once you've accepted your flaws, no one else can use them against you."
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