The whole culture of trying to get women to love themselves still tends to isolate and alienate women in some way (fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, colorism, etc.). The body image project is a series that highlights what real, everyday women (and some men) have done to develop a positive perception of their physical appearance thus far — how they’ve gotten to a healthy place, what they’ve done to get there, struggles and setbacks they still experience, and what they’re doing to get to a place where they feel the best about themselves and stay there.
With editing by Adwaa
Yasmine is a self-professed professional reader and pizza eater. When she’s not sword fighting with her two sons and SJRing (social justice rouge) online, you can find her writing well into the night and playing a video game or two.
What issues have you had with your own body image that you’ve learned to love and appreciate about yourself?
I was bullied growing up and girls called me fat, but adults always wondered if I was eating at all because of how thin I was/am. I wore sweatshirts in the dead of summer to hide my body because, in my mind, despite when people told me, “someone get this girl a cheeseburger,” there was something wrong with me. I was never able to be feel the happiness that the American ideal size 2 is supposed to bring, but I think that’s the point.
What has been your experience with learning to be comfortable in your skin and love yourself?
My experience has been that regardless of how my body appears, someone will have a negative view of it because of cultural ideals and this subconsciously gave me a negative view all my life. I still fear being “fat” regardless of my skinny girl status. But, I am getting better. I’ve learned to love myself as I am and understand that process is a process. Being content and comfortable is what I strive for, instead of being in love with my imperfect body.
…Regardless of how my body appears, someone will have a negative view of it…
What comments have you heard over time about your weight, height, or other physical aspects of your appearance that have made it difficult to develop that self-love and acceptance?
I’m always so bony and so skinny, I’ve been asked if I suffer from an eating disorder and my family made a bulimia joke about me. But I think the hardest thing I’ve had to accept was my breast size, as silly as it seems to me now, my mother always used to tell me that unless I got a boob job, no guy would ever want me. I’m glad I stopped caring about what guys wanted around the same time I stopped caring about how others viewed my body. My weight is still kind of triggering because it’s all people ever want to talk about, but I just deal with it.
What would you say to someone who came to you about their own struggles with self-love and acceptance?
Honestly, be patient with yourself and stop comparing yourself. Everyone has great qualities about them, pick out the ones you like the most and know that you have more to offer the world than just your flesh. When you check your reflection say one nice thing to yourself out loud.
Since these issues never disappear completely, what are some things you currently grapple with and what do you do to overcome them?
I hate that clothes never fit me right and I can’t seem to gain the weight to make clothes look the way I want to feel. To overcome it, I’ve just tried to not think so much about it and pick clothes that I am comfortable with and just wear black.
In a short sentence or phrase, create and share your own personal mantra for positive and healthy body image.
Fake it, ’till you make it.