I think that one of the defining moments of my life was the moment I realized that only I could choose whether to hate myself or love myself.
As a fat girl in a world where everything seems to be skinny, I felt like a square peg trying to fit into a circular hole. No matter what way I shifted and squeezed myself, I just wasn’t going to fit society’s so-called ‘norm’.
I spent many years hating myself. Many years loathing my body, myself, my life. I thought I would never be good enough.
But I realized one day that the voices in my head telling me that I wasn’t good enough weren’t my own voice. They sounded like my voice. They did a convincing job—had me fooled for years. But they weren’t mine, they were society’s. It was other people’s voices, voices I had heard through television ads, magazines, radio, internet, movies.
I realized that the pressure I felt to take the diet pills, exercise until I passed out, go tanning, wear expensive clothes, it was pressure from sources who didn’t care about me. Does Jenny Craig REALLY care if I lose 10lbs in 10 days? No. They just want me to sign up for their program so they make money off me. Does Nair REALLY care if my legs are prepared for short shorts? Of course not! They just want more money for expensive gimmicky advertising.
So why did I let corporations, companies, media, decide my self worth?
I couldn’t answer that question, and THAT’S when I stopped. I unplugged myself from the so-called ‘Matrix’, from media influence, from anyone who thought they knew what was best for me without knowing a damn thin about me.
I receive hate every single day for the way my body looks. Stares, jeers, comments, looks of disgust. And those same looks that would have been the end of me years ago don’t faze me anymore. If anything, I just pity those people. Pity them for the fact that THEY let other people control their idea of ‘beauty’.
To anyone out there who hates themselves. Anyone who looks in the mirror and is repulsed. Who is destroyed by comments that friends, family members, strangers make. Take a deep breath, and listen.
YOU are the only one who can determine your self-worth. If a magazine or what the internet says doesn’t agree with how YOU look, or what YOU think is beautiful, WHY does it matter? Those people don’t know who you are. They don’t care about your personal well being. They’re only out to make a buck. Think about it. Those people who run those ads will never come face to face with you, never know you. So why do you feel the need to conform to them, to impress them? Of course it seems like that’s what you’re supposed to do, because that’s how we were all brought up. To trust that outside influences know what’s best for us.
Only YOU can know what’s best for you. And each and every one of you. Fat. Skinny. Tall. Short. Straight, LGBTQ. Any gender, any orientation, any race, any size, has the RIGHT to decide that you are beautiful. And if someone doesn’t agree? That’s okay Don’t base YOUR self worth on ANYONE else’s preferences.
You are the only one who can stop hating your body. You are the only one who can make the decision to tune out ALL negative influences and listen to yourself instead. Is it easy? No. You’ll feel as if you have the entire world working against you. But that moment when you realize that you’ve overcome all the outside influences? You will feel SO good, and it will be SO worth it.
Don’t ever give up.