You guys! A search for swimming suits did not end in an emotional meltdown! Hooray for positive self-body image! Let’s talk about that!
I’ve struggled for most of my life with not liking how my body looked and feeling bad about it. I’ve more or less always been on the “bigger” side (whatever that really means). I’ve had my fair share of fitting room meltdowns (in particular I remember a time at Old Navy where I tried on about a bazillion pairs of jeans and none of them fit). Even though I was active (I did gymnastic from 5-15, then dance team), due to bad eating habits and not really knowing what else I needed to do (i.e. cardio) I just felt fat. In addition, I inherited the same body shape as my Mom, who unfortunately did (and still does) project a lot of her own body image issues on to me.
Even when I started to exercise more, eat better and become more ‘toned’ (during high school), I still wasn’t completely comfortable with my body, and would never even think about buying, let alone trying on, a bikini. There was still that lingering voice inside my head (and often the very present, real voice of my mom) that kept me from that.
I’m not completely sure when it really clicked in my head, but I think it was sometime around my freshman year of college (2009). It was probably a combination of becoming a real Raging Feminist, being away from the negative talk at home, and living among a group of girls, which had both negative and positive aspects). At the same time I felt so much love and support from this new community around me, I became even more aware and frustrated with girls, friends of mine, talking about their “diet”, or lamenting that they couldn’t eat the dessert they wanted. (Side note: I now find no conversation topic more of a bummer than someone’s depressing diet).
What really solidified my current self-image attitude was probably going crazy. It made me really realize that if someone didn’t like they way I looked, it was their problem, not mine. And if someone is going to judge me negatively for my size, my stretch marks, my haven’t-shaved-in-a-month hairy legs, then they aren’t worth my fucking time, yo.
To sum up: love yourself, love your body, fuck the haters. Also, look at the cute swimsuits I found on sale at TJ Maxx!