Loving ourselves the way God made us is tough. Between TV, social media and the unsolicited advice of those around us, it’s easier to believe we’re inferior than to simply accept that we were made in God's image and we are perfectly fine the way we are. And I was no exception. Contrary to popular belief, being naturally thin is no accomplishment. In my opinion, it was a thorn in my side I couldn’t wait to get rid of.
During my freshman year of high school, I dreaded PE. I was “athletically-challenged” and each sport I played brought out a more embarrassing dose of failure than the one before it. Fortunately, my silver lining finally shined when the teacher named our new activity for the week: ballroom dancing. Though I wasn’t technically trained, dance of every kind had captured my heart and I couldn’t wait to unleash my inner Beyoncé on my classmates. However, my dance partner had other plans. As he struggled to find placement for his hands, our teacher instructed him to put them on my hips. He looked down at my body and said “ she has none!”, earning chuckles and scoffs from our class.
That night, I began to recall all the times I’ve been uncomfortable with my body. From the times people asked me if I ate regularly, to the times I was lovingly called “toothpick” by my friends, I began to dislike my appearance and this incident was the last straw. From then on, I made the decision to intentionally overeat. Junk food became my best friend because it never judged and my eyes were never too big for my insides because I wanted to please the eyes of those viewing from the outside. The essence of my being dwindled down to my size measurements and I didn’t have the wisdom to question society’s authority. Though it took me years to quit this toxic habit, the self love I gained from the experience is something I will never forget.
Beyoncé is right. Being “pretty” does hurt. It stings with the scratches of our insecurities. It bruises our hearts with the slaps of unkind words. Being healthy is important, but knowing you’re worthy of it is necessary. Whether you’re petite or plus size, you’re amazing and your body size doesn’t determine your worth, your intelligence or your ability to rock this world with your purpose. As Denise Bidot proudly says, there is #NoWrongWay to be you. Reclaim the time you wasted and make it count.