A few years ago, I did a photo shoot for a campaign called the “What I Be Project” (definitely check this out if you haven’t before) and the message behind my statement “I am not my curves” has stuck with me. I have never really fit into what society classifies as the ideal standards of beauty. And that’s normal I guess because most people don’t since the body type of a Victoria’s Secret Angel is less than 5% of the world’s population. And that’s what’s so messed up about what the media represents as beautiful. Look through a magazine and you barely see variety in what women look like. I don’t have long legs. I don’t have blonde hair and blue eyes. I don’t have a flat stomach. And I have never been a size 0, what every fashion magazine and the media seems to tell women to strive for. I am short, and therefore, so are my legs. My stomach isn’t perfectly flat. I have big hips. I have boobs. I have thighs. I am curvy. But even if the media might tell me I’m not with settle messages of only showing pictures of particular women, I know that I am beautiful. And so are you.
This past year, I’ve come to really focus on the aspect of being healthy and strong. I tried to stop comparing myself to others. I stopped letting media and magazines define beauty for me. I started doing less cardio and lifting more weights. I started doing what feels good for me and not what I think I should be doing to look a particular way. I started to learn that it’s okay that I’m not a size 0 and never will be nor do I particularly want to be. Some people have those body types and that’s completely okay too because as humans, all of our bodies are different. Variety is good! Variety is normal! People are structured differently! I was born with a figure that’s not meant to be that petite. I am curvy and I am proud of my curves, but I am also not my curves because I will never let my body image completely define me. No one should let their body image define who they are, but we should be proud of the skin we’re in. We should treat the body we have well and be happy with the body we are given because we only ever get one.
But we shouldn’t hold ourselves to these impossible standards of beauty the media portrays. Yes, you can change how you look by eating right and exercising in a positive way. But you can’t change the body you were given, so just embrace yourself. You are beautiful. Everyone is beautiful in their own unique way, and the idea of beauty standards that our society puts out there is not a concept in my book anymore.
I now fit into my own beauty standards.