Transition to high school where being pretty was all the rage. To a girl who hardly wore makeup, the color pink, or any shoe that had more than a 1 inch heel, this place was a nightmare. Suddenly I was supposed to straighten my hair, wake up early to diligently apply makeup so that I too could be accepted. I also was a dancer, an environment that is centered around a slender physique. The team was even subjected to wearing "fat suits" under our costumes so that we could look thin. I loved my dancing, and was quite good at it too. Soon I started watching what I ate and became interested in cooking, it was very balanced and healthy. Eventually, it became an obsession. I counted calories like a mad woman, denied all sugary substances, and even refused to eat at slumber parties even after my three hour dance practices. The control felt so great, I was a girl addicted. My jeans began to hang off of my hips, to my satisfaction, until wearing a belt was absolutely necessary in order to keep my lower body covered. It was not until my Mom told me that she was worried that I was not eating enough did I snap out of my trance.
I am so grateful that she stepped in before my obsession could have harmed me. My eating has become normal ever since then, but the negative body image still manages to haunt me at times. There is an entire process that I had to undergo, changing my negative thoughts into positive thoughts and learning how to take pride in my appearance. Suddenly, my ruminations about my thighs turned into thoughts of gratitude in having fully functioning legs, a blessing many individuals are unfamiliar with. Restoring my self-love has been such a journey. I find myself in college, more confident than ever. I have found more meaningful things to think about rather than the size of my bum. As a recently hired resident assistant, a tutor for the athletic department, the president of Real Men Read (a student organization), and a fledgling blogger/writer, I truly can see how I have blossomed.
- It is confidence in our bodies, minds and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures, new directions to grow in, and lessons to learn -- which is what life is all about -Oprah Winfrey