I’m going to the beach with my family the week after next. This is the first time in a few years that I’ll be going to the beach as a chubby girl. It’s also one of the first few times I’ll be wearing a bikini in public. Hmm. Doesn’t seem to make sense does it? It doesn’t make sense to me.
Over the past six months to a year, I’ve become okay with my body. It’s been really hard, because I have two gorgeous younger sisters who are both naturally tan and thin due to their ~15 years of dancing. They are also both much taller than me, often causing people to assume that I am the youngest in the family. This is extremely frustrating and a bit demeaning.
Because I am adopted I was not born with my parents’ athleticism, height or skin tone. Also, because I have bipolar disorder I had to experiment with several medications when I was younger, some of which caused me to gain weight. The weight amounted to about 85 pounds in total. I lost about 10 of those pounds between grade school and middle school, and another 15 after high school, but I gained 5-10 back and haven’t really been able to drop them. I am about 20-30 pounds overweight for my height as of right now.
It’s been really hard to be confident about my looks as I’ve grown older and my sisters have grown taller and more beautiful. Part of me feels like I shouldn’t feel confident about myself because it’s so blatantly obvious that I stick out from them as the least attractive in our family. The middle sister is the obvious favorite in our family, and she sometimes makes rude comments about my looks, which doesn’t make it any better.
But alas, somehow I have been able to get excited about this beach trip. I am even going to wear a bathing suit (2 piece!) the whole trip. I think. As of right now I am not going to let them intimidate me.
It feels so weird to not hate myself. I know this is talked about so much, but I just feel like I have been told by everyone and by “society” that I should be skinny and that liking myself as I look right now isn’t okay. It’s just settling. I always felt sorry for fat people who were confident in themselves. Or like they were just pretending. Maybe that’s what I’m doing. Are people going to be looking at me on the beach thinking “She needs to cover that up,” or “Wow look at that cellulite/those rolls”? I have felt for a while that if it wasn’t a cultural standard for me to have to hate my body then I wouldn’t. I don’t like hating myself, and I really don’t think I’m that fat. But I’m not skinny either, so therefore I am an awful person.
It reminds me of an episode of Seinfeld. Jerry is on the subway and falls asleep. When he wakes up, a fat man across the aisle from him has taken all his clothes off and is reading the newspaper. When he meets Jerry’s eyes, which are looking at him in disgust, the man says “I’m not ashamed of *my* body,” to which Jerry replies “That’s your problem. You should be.” But why? Why should anyone be ashamed of his or her body?
I hope I still have this positive attitude a week from now.
Until my words and your eyes meet again,