I remember as a little girl one of my absolute favourite things to watch, after Alvin and the Chipmunks (the movie), was Miss World.
I don’t watch Miss World anymore, but as a little girl the beautiful women, the shiny outfits, and the gorgeous high heels and perfect Barbie doll stomachs in swimming costumes all filled me a sense of wonder and magic.
A part of me wonders if that’s why I was never happy with my body. Not once.
I can only remember wanting to change it, from as soon as I became aware of my body and how it differed from other people’s. Sure, there were aspects I liked, but sometimes it felt like there were things to hate I didn’t even realise I should dislike.
Overall, I felt there was huge Room for Improvement. If anyone didn’t like me, if boys went for my friends instead, I had my reason and didn’t even have to question it for it to make sense. My weight became an excuse for not trying, and became a cycle of eating, guilt, and self-hatred.
It’s only in retrospect I can try to draw the dots between the pieces of shattered esteem and see where it might have broken, or, to mix metaphors, find the puzzle pieces of the wrecking ball. Especially now that I am gluing the pieces back together.
Miss World wasn’t the wrecking ball, but it was one of many, many pieces that helped me form a picture of who I should be.
With the plethora of feminist blogs today and even with songs like Anaconda out (and therapy!) I’m really realising that there is more than one way to be beautiful. I’m also realising that it’s more important to be comfortable in my body than look a certain way. I’m never going to have legs that go up to HERE or normal feet or elegance and grace.
I’m also trying to be OK with being ME – but being the best me that I can be.
I yam what I yam!