So, I’ve definitely approached this topic before but not this personally. Body image is complicated and I will try to do my best to put my own body type in perspective because I am probably in the middle of the spectrum and not a member of either extreme, which comes with its own set of challenges and invisibility.
So, my struggle with body image likely stems somewhat from my experience as a dancer, being surrounded by ultra thing girls when I am eternally chubby was difficult and probably has skewed my vision of body image and what I find thin or not. I didn’t have deeply rooted issues with being a black girl, partially because I am not dark skinned and partially because my mom made sure I read black books, had black dolls to play with, etc. However, being chubby and not the type of thick that Black America prefers were still valid adversaries to my mother’s defenses. I looked at my body like it was my enemy sometimes, luckily not to the point of any unhealthy behaviors however it was a never-ending mental and emotional battle, and honestly some days it still is.
The internet does not help. I don’t sink as far into the Instagram baddie tunnel as other people because I know that a lot of what I am seeing is surgery and not naturally obtained no matter what they say. However, the digital space has changed the types of body types that are upheld but body positivity has been almost taken over by people who were rarely, if ever, targets of body shaming. Everyone should love their body, but similar to the natural hair movement, people who are considered socially acceptable have decided to take center stage rather than the people who truly need to be shown recognition and love.
So, I have stated before that I have health issues. Those health issues affect my body type and sometimes take my weight and appearance out of my own hands. This leads to a lot of issues for me. For one, I get anxious and obsessive about other things because I want to control everything else in my life, but that is a conversation for another day. Another thing is that I blame myself for health even though there is very little that I can do about it.
Getting to the point
Body image is an issue for everyone. No matter your age, race, or gender identity, insecurities about appearance plague everyone, however when you don’t fit into the mold society deems acceptable life can be harder, and when you exist in a middle ground group you can often feel invisible. So I am here to say every body type is beautiful, your emotions are valid, and talking about it may help you understand yourself and someone else feel a little bit better.
Do you have a body image story you want to share? Put it in the comments, you may help someone else on their journey to self-love.