In honor of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show being filmed this week and premiering on television December 5th, I felt this post was necessary.
You're not alone when you feel like you're not pretty enough, not skinny enough, or not enough at all. We all have our own beauty.
All my life, I've been the bigger friend. The one who grew boobs first in the fifth grade. The one who was always chubbier than the other girls who happened to be as thin as a pole. Did I purposely surround myself with girls who were naturally skinny? Nope. Did I ever realize that they were naturally skinny? Nope. I always kind of assumed it was me; I was the one who had the problem for being too "big." I began to associate beauty with being a certain size, and that certain size was not what I was.
I was never bullied by anyone about my weight until I got into high school. But at that time, I had already become my biggest critic. Everything about myself didn't seem to be good enough: my weight, my makeup, how I looked without makeup. In the mornings when I would get dressed, I would stare at myself from all angles and try to see if I looked thin enough. That was all I ever thought about; do I look thin enough in this moment? If people look at me, would they think I'm thin enough? Looking back at my younger self now, all I want to ask is, "What did 'thin enough' even mean?"
I'm not sure what changed in my life, but I began to look at myself in a new light when I had reached junior year. Call it growing up or what you will, but I feel that I really found confidence. I started to embrace the fact that I wasn't as skinny as the other girls because it made me, well, me. I've always hidden my body with baggy clothing since I never felt proud enough to show it off. I assumed it wasn't as beautiful as the girls who were skinny. Then, there I was, wearing a dress to prom that had a tight-fitting waist. Something in me began to change and I think it was because of the world. I started realizing that I didn't look like any of the girls on TV or in magazines. You're always told to stand out in the crowd and be unique, so that's what I started thinking about...
Now, I look at those girls who walk the runway in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show every year and I think, "Wow, they're beautiful." But more recently, I think about me being that thin or that skinny and I just... can't see it. It would scare me, almost. For me to sit here now and say that I would rather be my size with my curves than have the body of a Victoria's Secret model says a lot. I'm not trying to knock those women or women who look like that because they're all absolutely stunning in their own ways. I'm just saying that looking so thin would never really work for me. I feel comfortable with who I am, and me saying that I'd rather look like myself over them really shows a lot.
How did I get this confidence or feel so comfortable with myself? Well, I stopped comparing myself to others. And if I did, I compared myself to others and said that I like what I have better. If you compare yourself to others for too long, it starts to really catch up to you and affect the way you see yourself. You begin to hate yourself for the things that you lack but what other people have. You have to turn the tables; start to love yourself for the things that they lack. Once you realize that you're the only person in the entire world with all of your traits and looks, you start to see all of the beauty in you.
I still have a tendency to look at others and compare myself to them. It's hard to stop, but it's a thing that has to be done. Every now and then, I find myself getting down because of the way that I look. We, society, are surrounded by women in the media who are extremely thin and so that affects the way that we see ourselves. To comfort myself, I look for people who look like me. Then I realize that I can't find any, because I'm my own unique person. That's the beauty of it; we're all our own unique people.
Leading Image: matfashion.com
Photography by Samantha Losurdo