Unconditional Body Beautiful is a self-love series created by Rebequita Rose — “It is a year-long collaboration which I created-slash-founded, and I will be doing this with many other bloggers…We will focus mostly on discussing our bodies more than on fashion, but at the same time we will fuse the two together.”
Ah, my body and I from the beginning– our relationship has always been complex. I suppose like most women I’ve been in a lengthy love/hate relationship with my body. Of course when you’re a little kid none of that matters. At least for me, weight wasn’t an issue early on. I didn’t start that battle until puberty knocked on my door. I was a carefree little girl who (still) loves dressing up, singing and just being a bit of an oddball. As far as I was concerned my body was just an extension of who I was. It helped me play, dance, and prance around in my mom’s heels.
Life couldn’t be any better!
As I grew older, my body began changing and that’s when our relationship went from carefree to complex. I must have been around 12. I remember sitting outside our family home in New York while my grandmother and aunt leaned out the second floor window discussing me as if I wasn’t even there. One statement said that afternoon impacted me and stayed with me for a long time — “Look at her, look how fat she is. I thought she was going to grow up to be pretty”. Those words scorched a part of me so deeply that until today it makes me sad for that little girl sitting outside that house.
But you see that little girl didn’t know what this woman knows today– most people, and yes, even family can be cruel when plagued by their own insecurities. They don’t fling insults your way because there is something wrong with you. No, my lovelies. It’s because you’re living and walking with pride in this world. That irritates them. How dare you love yourself so proudly, while they’re drowning in their own self-doubt?
I battled my body hate for a long time, constantly comparing myself to skinnier women, thinking that my body should emulate theirs. I starved myself. I took diet pills, water pills, B-12 shots. Hell, you name the diet, I most likely tried it in the name of “beauty.” In my mid 20’s I was the skinniest and unhappiest ever. A perfect size 12 that was constantly starving, exercising and binging– a vicious cycle that came with consequences. When my hair started falling off, followed by kidney pains and heart flutters caused by the various “natural” diet pills I’d consumed throughout the years, I knew I had to make a change.
My 30’s came around in a blink of an eye and I was now fluctuating between a size 14-16. I also began to hide myself because of the weight gain. I rarely took photos, I wore cardigans, long sleeves and lots of layers– anything that hid my body. You see, internally I was still the same insecure woman. Losing weight never changed that and neither did getting healthy. That’s why it’s crucial to focus on loving YOU first my lovelies. Weight and clothing sizes are just secondary things when it comes to your relationship with yourself. As I’ve grown older (Hello 39!) I’ve learned to embrace my body regardless of what size it is. Instead of focusing on its flaws, which we all have unless you’re made out of plastic, I now focus on all the wonderful things I love about my body– like my curvaceous hips and all that junk in my trunk.
When I started Curves à la Mode two years ago, my idea was to promote the message of self-love; to help young girls and women realize that they are beautiful regardless of what the media or society tries to tell them. I’m proud to say that both the blog and I have come a long way. And while on this new path of self-love I’ve met some wonderfully inspiring ladies and I’ve learned to truly love and cherish my body regardless of my own inner monologues or people’s thoughtless words. Unconditional Body Beautiful self-love is a long and sometimes difficult path, but it’s a journey worth starting because we all deserve to be free and confident.
Until next time my lovelies,
On the 18th of every month we will each publish a new post discussing that month’s theme (body part), so be sure to keep an eye out for the hashtag on social media for some wonderful posts and body love inspiration.
For more #UnconditionalBodyBeautiful inspiration be sure to check out these wonderful blogs: