Size 6

18 01 2009

I’ve always had a bad relationship with my body image.

I don’t remember actually being conscious of what my body looked like until I hit about 7th grade. It was like an awakening. All of a sudden I was paying attention to my body, looking at myself in the mirror and just wondering why I was like this. Looking at pictures from 5th grade I was a bean pole. I was tall and thin with long arms and legs that made me look gangly and kind of awkward. I was cute though. Innocent still. Looking at pictures from a few years later I’d gained weight. I was more rounded and pudgy.

I hit puberty and lost my father at about the same time. So not only was my body changing in ways I didn’t quite understand but I also was falling into the habit of eating my feelings. By the time I hit high school, I was 5′10 and 150lbs. That’s not bad, I know. But I still was overweight. And I was so self-conscious about it. I never understood why I couldn’t be skinny and pretty and popular like the other girls. I never thought I was pretty. I was okay. I wasn’t ugly. But men weren’t jumping up and down to hang out with me. For some reason I just didn’t get it.

So, I started wearing slightly crazy clothes to compensate: Bright colors, dinosaurs, lots of bracelets, scarves, vintage, punk, whatever I could get my hands on that wasn’t trendy.By senior year, I’d fallen out of that and instead I’d tried to cut back on what I ate. That helped a bit and I slimmed up by 5 lbs or so. I was a size 10 and okay with that. I wished I was skinnier but I was okay being a bit curvy. I was self-conscious about it but I figured I’d get over it.

My mother never helped. She constantly hounded me on my appearance and weight. She’d ask me if I looked the way I did because I didn’t want to be attractive. She’d ask me if I was afraid to look good. She’d grab the fat on my stomach and tell me to stop eating junk food. She’d threaten to ground me if I didn’t work out every night. She made me extremely paranoid about my appearance. She dissolved what little self confidence I had left in me.

Then I hit college. And honestly, in the almost two years I’ve been here, I’ve probably dropped 10 or 15lbs.  And I don’t get it. I haven’t changed much. I still don’t work out, though I walk a lot more because that’s how you get around campus. And my diet shifted of it’s own accord. I don’t eat as much as I used to and I naturally am drawn to healthier things.

I am now a size 6.

And you know what? I’m still not comfortable with my body.

I’m far more comfortable than I used to be but I still get moments of gut-wrenching sorrow and fear when I think of all the tiny, pretty, size 0 girls that parade on campus here. X even tells me that I’m gorgeous and beautiful by normal standards but my campus is know for having pretty people and well, I’m averagely pretty on this campus. (that’s not an insult at all, it’s true. so no bitching about how he’s a terrible person)

I used to think that being skinny was the key to being confident and accepting of your body. Now I know that’s far from true. Accepting and loving your body is far, far more than getting down to a goal size or weight. It’s far more than looking like girls in magazines. It’s more about knowing that no matter what size, shape or weight you are that someone out there finds you gorgeous and beautiful. To someone you are their ideal beauty.

I admit, I’m jealous of people like Curvaceous Dee and Dangerous Lilly who are curvy, beautiful and comfortable with themselves. I wish I could be like that. I wish I could just accept the body I have and be okay with it.

X has helped me with my body image though. Not sure if he knows that or not. Before coming to college, I didn’t think people found me attractive. But with each guy that showed interest in me, things changed. I began to see myself differently. X, out of all those men, has helped me the most. He makes me feel comfortable in my own skin and I can’t thank him enough for it.

But I still see skinny models. And actresses. And singers. And girls on campus here. And I wish I was shorter and thinner and prettier. I’ll look in the mirror one day and be shocked by the fact that I look thin when the day before I was convinced I was fat. It’s sickening because I know I shouldn’t be like this. I know that I should be comfortable with myself. And I fight with it. As I said I’m getting better. But it’s something so ingrained me I can’t shake it free. It’s embarrassing. People would love to have my body but my relationship with it is love/hate at best.

I’m a size 6 and some days I still feel fat.

I know it’s stupid when I think it, but that doesn’t mean I can stop the thoughts from coming.

[This post is not intended to be me whining about my size. I know I am thin. It's supposed to be more of an exploration of my personal body image and how even thin girls can have some seriously fucked up views of themselves.]


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8 responses

18 01 2009
Lilly

I’m not always comfortable with my body. There are a number of days I contemplate drastic (surgical) measures. Also a good portion of society doesn’t look kindly upon me for my size, and I do know I need to be healthier.

Honestly, I don’t think there’s many women on this planet who don’t have a body issue of some sort. Except, I think, for the primitive cultures not much exposed to media. Our insecurities are based on the media, when you get down to it.

Somehow, someway, we need to stop comparing ourselves in a negative way to the women around us. That takes a lot of time and effort.

In your blog you always seem to come across as comfortable with yourself and that’s why I used you as an example. I was not intending to offend or annoy.
It takes so much time and effort to stop comparing, especially when it’s driven into us from a young age. It’s something I struggle hardcore with.

<3
Z

18 01 2009
Lilly

Oh you didn’t offend me in any way dear. Just letting you know that I’m not always comfortable with my body :)

I’ve heard from some that once they became a mom, they cared a hell of a lot less what others think of their looks and body. Not to say they let themselves go, but they are not basing their self-worth so much on the society around them. Something about having children, and them being more important, grounded them.

Unfortunately, since I currently can’t stand kids, that won’t work for me, haha.

Sadly, I don’t think this world will ever change. We will never get a generation of kids to be kinder and compare less, and not base friendships on the way a person looks.

18 01 2009
Jake

You’ve got a great body, but I don’t think I know any girls that are entirely happy with their bodies – it’s such a shame.

Everything’s different from a guys point of view, but I don’t think I’d aspire to be really skinny, especially not size 0 skinny. I don’t think I’ve ever been that attracted to really skinny girls as their bodies just don’t do as much for me as a more normal and interesting curvy body….

18 01 2009
Amy

You’re so right. I feel incredibly lucky that most of the time I can look in the mirror and feel good about myself, but there’s always going to be those days when something isn’t right. Have you seen Mean Girls where they’re all standing in the mirror finding weird stuff to complain about themselves? It’s like that. Sometimes my friends come up with the strangest things they hate about themselves, and no one else would ever even have noticed, or cared!
I know it’s not my place to judge your mum, but ouch!
If it helps, from what I can see you are gorgeous!
xxxxx

18 01 2009
SaraBee

150 at 5′10 is nooooooot overweight! I’m the same height as you, and I put on some weight in the past year (and have been successfully losing it), and when I was 175, I was just barely into the technically overweight range.

Also, keep in mind that a size 10 at our height is not the same thing as a shorter person who is a size 10. The number doesn’t mean a whole lot for us when it comes to comparing ourselves to other people.

I do also wish I was shorter, though. I prefer to be with taller men, and I like them to still be taller when I’m wearing heels. My height still makes me feel big and awkward, and it also means my feet are pretty big (size 10.5).

19 01 2009
Lawrence

The really sad thing is that I’m pretty sure I’ve literally never known a girl (over the age of 11 or so) who DIDN’T have body issues. Skinny, fat, tall, short, beautiful, plain; none of the physical traits really seem to have any real bearing on how a woman feels about the skin she inhabits. It’s really messed up. I can, of course, tell you that you are beautiful and sexy, but that doesn’t really help, does it?

20 01 2009
dayglow

I haven’t commented on your blog yet, but I wanted to let you know that I love it, and I think you are awesome. You’re such a great and insightful writer. I really can’t believe you’re only 19! I am a 6′1″ size 10 or 12 woman, and it can definitely be hard to be tall, especially when you’re young. I was very self-conscious when I was in high school and early college. Not saying you necessarily need it, but just as a suggestion, therapy might be helpful for you at some point if these issues are causing problems for you. I’ve gained different perspectives as I’ve gotten older (I’m 32 now), too. I’ve had more experiences with partners who’ve been super into my height and my body, and I’m much more aware of how confidence and attitude play just as big of a role in sexiness as appearance. I know it’s still a struggle sometimes, though. xo

24 01 2009
Бабон

Спасибо автору, доходчиво даже для меня :)

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