Y’all remember when Beyonce said, “If you don’t jump to put jeans on, baby, you don’t feel my pain,”? Well, I feel my good sis’ pain, and it’s a pain I’ve always felt…
I’ve been a thick girl my entire life and I don’t know exactly when it was I started being conscious about my body, but if I had to pinpoint it, I’d say it was around my middle-school years. I can remember being invited to a pool party and wearing a t-shirt and shorts because I was too ashamed to be seen in a bathing suit. It didn’t help I was also dealing with ridiculous acne breakouts. My self-esteem was in shambles much of adolescence, and I started body-shaming without even knowing it. Body-shaming is when you criticize your own appearance through a judgement or comparison to another person. I told myself I was less beautiful because other girls my age were smaller and had clearer skin than I did. This seed got planted early, so it’s no surprise that it would manifest in other ways later in adulthood.
Fast forward to June of last year. My sorority sisters and I planned a trip to Cancun, Mexico to celebrate our Deltaversary. As excited as I was to get to reunite with my sisters, I was also terrified at the thought of putting on a bathing suit- yet again. Months before the trip, I pushed myself to go to the gym, in hopes that I could shed a few pounds and be able to like the way I looked when it finally came time to put on my two-piece. I managed to get through the trip, and even had the time of my life. Yet and still, I was self-conscious the whole time.
Body-positivity is a journey, well at least for me it has been. Some days I’m like “Okay, I like being a curvy girl,” and other days not so much. On the days where I’m not as comfortable in the skin I’m in, I have to challenge where the negative self-talk is coming from. Did I see a thinner girl on my news feed that made me question my own beauty? I also have to be honest with myself about the habits that have led me to where I am. If I know I’m not spending the time I should be exercising or eating better foods, can I really be upset about the results I don’t see? The answer is no.
Truth be told, I know I could do a better job of working out and eating healthier. But finding motivation is a struggle for me and I have a special relationship with food that I just haven’t been able to break right now, and I’m honest about that.
One way I’ve worked to improve my body positivity is by finding things I like about my body. While there are many things I wish were different, I also have features I wouldn’t change for the world! I’m not all the way where I want to be in terms of loving what I see, but I’m making strides to get there. Remembering that my Creator didn’t make any mistakes helps me on the days that I struggle, and I hope it helps you too!
Aaliyah Moore is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Aaliyah enjoys spending time with her family and is a lover of food, writing, and Quartet Gospel music. She is a higher education professional and loves the impact she gets to make in the lives of college students, every day. You can follow her on Instagram @aaliyah.m.moore.