Knobbly knees, skinny sticks, golf ball legs, anorexic, bones, lanky… I am trying to think of some of the names I was called growing up either at school or just minding my own business when I was out with my friends. At 16 years old, I stood at 5’11 with a small frame that could fit pretty much the clothes of someone younger than me. I was also a late bloomer and often thought when was my shot to shine and say ‘I had my first period’ to relate to my older friends or asking my mum to go bra shopping? I recall crying to my mum about these issues (I clearly had no idea about adult issues back then) and she told me to pray about it. So I did and boy did it come knocking on my door (hardcore).
Now standing at 6’1, I have HH cup size boobs, I don’t recall a time I didn’t have them or even the feeling of not carrying something the weight of two ipads on my chest according to Curvy Kate. I just remember climbing up the cup size alphabet quicker than I can say the whole alphabet. Oh, and the monthly monster? It came, with excruciating pain every month that still has me standing at the doors of Superdrug by 8.30am to get some strong painkillers and double chocolate cookies dipped in biscuit spread with a cup of tea (random). Now looking back, I realise that I spent most of my teens worried about my appearance instead of enjoying my youth which continued into adulthood when my curves began taking hold. I was told to rub bio oil on my stretch marks three times a day and scrub my hips and bottom in circular motions to get rid of cellulite… the sight of them disgusted me.
Maybe it was the laziness in me, but I got tired of doing all of that. Even sometimes when I missed the occasional day of shaving, someone within my household would make a passing comment. I couldn’t blame them; they weren’t the problem… it is just what we are we are exposed to. I never grew up seeing women with stretch marks on TV or even in magazines. When I discovered the glorious world of online shopping, all the models were flawless so when I saw these marks on myself, I couldn’t relate. I didn’t associate it with my body growing into womanhood.
Point is, one day I just woke up feeling different. I decided to start paying for things I enjoyed doing rather than spending money on products that promised to erase an element that had become a fixed feature on my body. Aside from stretch marks, cellulite, my boobs sit lower than your average (another ‘flaw’ that has been pointed out to me for years) and I also had scars from my tomboy years in my childhood where I fell with every step I took (comes with the territory of being tall sometimes).
I simply just chose to love myself in the way I came in and if I wanted to change something, it was to be on my terms and not on what people said. Here are my features people told me to erase and accepting them changed my outlook mentally, physically and socially.
Some people may see the rise in people talking about body positivity, particularly amongst women, as a trend that will go away but some don’t understand the power of this movement. To change someone’s perception and help them to love themselves the way they are is one of the most priceless gifts because every element of their life changes. Not all of us have cellulite, birthmarks, scars, stretch marks or acne but have other insecurities, physical or mental, that are poorly represented within society whether it’s in fashion or the media.
The body positivity movement is helping to change this, slowly but surely. The other day Look magazine published a curvy model as cover girl wearing Simply Be, magazines like SLINK feature models of different sizes and races that I can personally relate to and I couldn’t be more excited.
This must not be mistaken for saying that slimmer models are not representative of women because they are. However, they represent a fraction of the different shapes and sizes out there and all I ask for is to have a variety so we can ALL relate to each other. Unlike some critics who have been saying it promotes obesity, it is helping people to accept themselves in their current state and just enjoy themselves, if they want to change, it is solely their choice instead of being based on the narrow beauty standards we are bombarded with.
So if you ask me, body positivity is here to stay and it’s about time we all just woke up and rather than spending an hour in the shower trying to scrub away your cellulite, just stop and smell the roses.
My best feature is my smile. It is big and goofy but it brings joy to faces I come across every day which is enough for me .
We would love to hear your opinion on this article so feel free to leave some feedback. If you would like to share your story or feature on our blog, contact us and help us to inspire one another!