By Brooke Ashley Sharpnack
“Excuse me, but I don’t think I have anything in here that will fit either you or your friend.”
Actual words quoted to me by a Macy’s retail salesperson. I didn’t expect anything from that overpriced chain store anyways for my size 20 frame, but I was there to find something for my size double zero friend but whatever … swerve bitch.
That was a few months ago and apparently Macy’s now has some sort of plus sized section, it’s about time they get with the times, but I’m not going to pay 90 dollars for a black skater dress I’ll most likely just wear once or twice so I’ll just stick with Forever 21 but thanks anyway, boo boo.
Why I mention this story is because even though my friend and I have completely different body types, her being naturally super slim, and me having PCOS so I’m a bit “thicccker” we both were body shamed. Assumed right off the bat we couldn’t get something because of the way we look. After that experience, we didn’t feel low because we know we are beautiful the way we are, but many girls still struggle with self image issues. Most people also assume that body positivity is pinned strictly to overweight women and that’s not true. It’s body positivity for ALL body types, thick, thin, hairy, green, yellow, purple, and even red dammit. Every single person on this earth is beautiful in their own way, and that’s completely dope actually.
You are you for whatever reason — whether you believe in a god type figure, the universe, the stars, or even a flying spaghetti monster in the sky. No one will ever be the exact same as you, every scar, every stretch mark, they are memories earned, proof that you are constantly growing, proof that you are getting stronger, and what is a more amazing symbol than that?
I used to be very self conscious about the way I looked. Whenever I first got told I had PCOS, I wondered to myself, “why me God?! I’ma be a hairy fat, zit invested monster,” (I got diagnosed at 15 so, of course, I was melodramatic) but one day I just sat down and realized I needed to come to peace with myself and the way I looked. It wasn’t going to change, I wasn’t going to change, I am still this person, this body, and this soul for however long. I wrote down everything about myself that I liked in a notebook: personality traits, the way my eyes are two different colors, etc. And I realized the list was kind of long which made me feel happier. The list of things I didn’t like was shorter, so it was a start.
I still have my bad days when I look at myself and think, “Is that really me?” or I see a bad picture with a bad angle and just want to cringe. But I just take a step back, and realize that i am still a person. I am still me. I have fat but I am not my fat. I have fingernails, but I am not my fingernails.
I used to get bullied. I was never anyone’s first choice, or even last choice, for sports teams on the play ground. I only got accepted on the cheerleading squad because they thought my parents would sue. I never had dates to middle school or even high school dances and would have to go with a group of friends. These things hurt as a child but made me stronger for my adult life. I learned how to take a joke, even if I was the joke. I learned that even though I may not be good at sports I could be good at other things. And I learned that I didn’t always need a boy, and that friends are more important because they would always be there for you.
So if I could teach you anything from this article, it’s that, no matter what you look like, you are worthy of love, and loving yourself. You are a fucking person, your OWN person. The road is tough, sure, but completely worth it. You are worth it. Before you judge a person’s body, think about how they would feel if they heard your judgments. You don’t know what that person is going through. They could be fighting a battle that’s even bigger than the battle you are facing. We are bigger than our bodies. It’s the person inside the body that’s the most important.
You are what’s most important. Vow to fall in love with yourself — it’s the most fulfilling journey you will ever go on.