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It Took Me Years to Like Myself

Thursday, May 12, 2016
I still remember the times when people called me fat to my face. Call it “keeping a grudge” or whatever you like, but those moments will always remain in my head. From kindergarten (yes, believe me) to high school, my body was not a topic I liked talking about. Somehow, it seeped through, and people, even those close to me, would find ways to point it out.

The first memory I have of someone calling me fat was when I was on vacation with my family. I was around four years old, wearing a striped Powerpuff girls swimsuit, walking around the quiet beach. There was another family there, and a mother and son were sitting by the waves when I strutted by. Suddenly I heard the mother say to her kid, “Pretty girl, too bad she’s fat.” I might not have had a real idea of beauty at that age, but her words still pierced through me.

My misfortune followed me in elementary school, where I was seated next to a disgusting (like snot and all that gross stuff) boy, who nicknamed me Fat. I had to cross over him to get out of my seat, and whenever I needed to pass, he would say, “Fat girl’s passing through!”

I got thin during my later years in elementary school, and I thought that was a miracle, but people called me sickly thin. What did they really want?

High school came and my body went through some extreme changes. I got curves, got taller, got thicker… and people noticed. It seemed like it was the only thing they could talk about when they saw me. I began to wonder if I was even anything else to them. 

I started to hate family gatherings. My grandfather would point it out, my aunts would joke about it, and I remember one specific uncle who told me, “Your mother and brother turned out looking slim and fine, what happened to you?” I didn’t eat well that night, and I remember crying to sleep. 

See, the thing is, these people who point it out do not understand the effects of their words. They believe that it’s just one comment, but what they don’t get is that this “fat” person they’re criticizing has heard it too many times. This person has had enough. This person has been surrounded by so many mean words, that those words have controlled his/her life. 

I did not wear shorts, skirts, and fitted shirts for years. I wore only jeans and shirts, and I went to the beach with the most coverage I could pull off.

It wasn't until recently that I discovered that I could love myself. That I could wear dresses without caring what people thought of my legs. That I could wear skinny jeans and show off my curves. That what people thought did not matter, and that I shouldn't have ever believed that their words defined me. 

Media might have influenced how my critics viewed beauty, but I owe it to media for allowing me to feel beautiful. The influx of the love for curves, for thick girls, for natural bodies all helped me embrace my uniqueness. I found Tumblr blogs of curvy women and their OOTDs. I followed YouTubers who talked about these problems about insecurities. My view toward myself was changed then. I'm glad that celebrities are stepping forward to make young girls like their build. I'm glad that people are appreciating these women for who they are.

And when I stopped minding what people thought about my body, I started loving myself more. And soon, they stopped talking about it. 

It's sad to think that I spent so much time hating my body and wanting to look like someone else. I could have done so much more if I hadn't hidden in my low esteem. I could have LIVED more. 

If any of you are reading this right now and you hate how you look, let me tell you this: one day, you will learn to accept your body. You will love everything about your skin. And the moment you start loving yourself and believing in that love, others will follow. 

You define you.
4 comments on "It Took Me Years to Like Myself"
  1. I'm a long time subscriber but this is my first comment. Hi Gail!
    Q:How do you exactly learn to like yourself?
    I have lots of insecurities and some people are encouraging me to love myself, but that doesn't really get through me at all.

    1. Hi there!

      Firstly, you should understand that it takes time. You can't wake up one day and think, "Oh, hey, I'm going to like myself!" Well, you can, but that wouldn't be totally believable, would it?

      For me, it came with my external influences -- TV, movies, celebrities. I read about my insecurities and found influential people who embraced them. I found in comments sections that there were others who felt the same. But I think what made me get rid of all the hate I had for myself was when I directed my energy and attention to better things.

      I worked to start a career for myself. I put all of my focus on things that would empower me. These things may be different for you, and that's fine. That's awesome.

      Do not dwell on insecurities. Don't think about them 24/7. Think about your passions, your hobbies, your LIFE that you want to create.

      I hope this helps, and I'm glad you've been a long time subscriber! :) x

  2. I just realized that the media helped me love myself, too. According to my height, I have about 10 kilos too much and that used to be a problem for me. But one day I just stopped caring about what people thought about my body, I started to surround myself with body-positive people and started watching confident people in movies and TV shows. And somehow I started loving myself. :)

    1. Hi! Hearing that makes me so happy. I'm glad you love yourself now! Keep doing that okay? Haha.


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