I blamed college for blessing me with ten extra pounds each year. Thirty to date. Something about being free to come and go and eat and hang out and stay up as you damn well please begets bad habits. And, yes, they became my own. But when I transferred schools and moved to Atlanta, I blamed Georgia for having me feel that I wasn’t thick enough. The figures of my modelesque friends back home couldn’t even begin to compare to the shapes of these southern gals. Nope, no amount of squats and lunges could give you the hips and backside of someone who’s been fed pork chops, macaroni and cheese, and cornbread since childhood. Or even someone who’s had a couple shots (if you know what I mean) here and there; yes, those have nearly become the norm too.
I blame a whole bunch of people for a whole bunch of other things I have yet to come to terms with regarding my appearance, but more than anything – I blame myself. For I, like the woman who wept in front of the mirror, am to blame for how I have handled that over which I have no control. And even more at fault for measuring my own worth against someone else’s natural standard; I’d always be an imperfect version of them, but couldn’t see that I was a flawless version of myself. I was too young to understand that my complexion was the most gorgeous shade of brown that God had ever blended—because he created it just for me. And, even so, these days I love me a good summer tan—the browner, the better. I was too stubborn to know that my height was a blessing—something that made me stand out in a crowd—striking. Plus, it automatically eliminated all the short, good-for-nothing guys who’s attention I thought I needed at the time. And I was too damn dumb to realize that I wore a size 10 so that I could always have access to the good shoes that all the 7.5-8s had to fight for at the department stores. Duh! How could it not be obvious? *Sighs*
I’ve learned from self-evaluation and retrospect that we will all face physical insecurities at one point or another. But you either love it, deal with it, fix it, or die inside from irrational feelings of inadequacy—take your pick. I choose to be proud of those subtleties that set me apart from the next woman, and I encourage you all to do the same. Love yourself as a work-in-progress, for you will only become more gorgeous from adopting a positive self-image. And let’s uplift one another, too. Instead of being mad because the next chick has a badder body than your own—complement her and ask what kind of workouts she does. Like someone’s hair? Tell her so, and just maybe she’ll slip you her stylist’s card. You never know, the very thing you commend her on may be the single thing making her feel not so up to par that day. Be a blessing to someone else . . .
Please feel free to share any flaws that you’ve learned to love about yourself, and how you reached that point!
- Chelsea Smith