My Body Positivity Story
Age 10: My aunt bought me a subscription to a girl’s fashion magazine that I became obsessed with. I bought a pair of clogs and a bucket hat that I wore to third grade day after day after day. But, I didn’t care. I felt confident in these articles of clothing and loved how they made me feel.
Age 11: I was the first girl in my class to get my period. This lead me to also be the first girl in my class with breasts and acne. I remember feeling proud of my new-found womanhood yet confused and embarrassed about the changes my body was going through at the same damn time.
Age 12: Boys didn’t understand how hurtful their bullying was, especially not my younger brothers, who, by this time, understood that making fun of my pubescent body hit a nerve deep under my skin. I was jealous of the girls who still had their stick figure bodies and smooth skin. I wanted to reverse time.
Age 15-17: The awkward years.I continued to be bullied for my curvy figure, acne, and frizzy hair and I longed for a body that didn’t look lumpy in my dance leotards. Sophomore year of high school, I made the JV cheerleading squad and couldn’t fit into any of the cheerleading skirts my high school owned. This required one of my teammates mothers to take the stitching out and resize a skirt to fit me. I was mortified.
At 17, I was in 12-years into a toxic best-friend relationship, that has since ended, thank god. Anyway, this “friend”said something over and over to me that still replays in my mind today, though maybe in a different light: She said, “Stop standing with your arms crossed. It calls more attention to your insecurities than you think.”
Age 20: I was an anxiety-ridden freshman in college who had subconsciously stopped eating because of depression. I promise you, I wasn’t trying to starve myself. I was just suffocating from the consequences of being 3 hours away from home, in a new city, where people just weren’t that nice.
Looking back on it now, I realize that at that point in my life, I had the body that I had spent my teenage years desiring. I went from 140 pounds to 127 pounds in a 3-month semester. I didn’t just look skinny. I looked malnourished and I looked extremely unhappy.
Age: 21-23: I had just transferred schools, got my mental health in order, and was exploring college as a single lady for the first time. My long time relationship with a high school boyfriend had just ended and I used sex as a way to compensate for my heartbreak and insecurities. My college roommates, still my best friends today, had the decency to sit me down for an “interfriendtion”— themed: you cannot be loved by any man unless you learn to love yourself first.
Age 24-27: Every time I would walk past a mirror at home, I would lift up my shirt and gawk, in the least healthy way, at my untoned stomach and curvy hips. Never my legs, though. I love my dancer legs, which I am grateful have stayed with me into an unathletic adulthood. Anyway, I would have done anything for a less-womanly figure. Because I didn’t love my body, I spent hours tearing myself down instead of learning how to build myself up or embrace my natural beauty.
Age 27-28: I crawled out of a winter depression and focused on myself and my needs for the first time that I can ever remember.
6 months into this venture, a friend said to me, “You look good, Lin. What have you been doing?” I looked at him and said, “I haven’t been doing anything. I am just happier now.”
I had no idea that weight was naturally dropping off my body, because I no longer spent hours a day caring about how I looked. I don’t work out. I don’t watch what I eat. I don’t count calories. And, I sure as hell haven’t cut out drinking. But, what I have done is pay attention to what makes me happy and I have geared my energy towards those things.
Since I have started creating again, weight has been shed in both pounds and pressure, and my confidence is at an all-time high.
I am proud of the woman that I am becoming and confident in the womanly body that I have, which is something I have never been able to say before; and it feels fucking good.