I despise stepping foot on a scale! I dread it every single time I go to the doctor. For the longest time I refused to even own a scale. But like most people, my weight was never an exciting topic for me. You see I’ve always been thin. My mom is very thin and so is my brother…so it’s safe to say it’s in my genes. I was just not built to have curves or even have a little cleavage unless I paid for it which I also won’t do! And for the longest time I was not a fan of this body I was given. Oh but why, people would kill to be that thin? Sure we always want what we don’t have.
Like most kids, I was bullied for my weight growing up. I was much smaller than the girls in my class. People would ask if I was anorexic. Do you know how toxic that is for a young girl to be asked that? It ate away at whatever body confidence I had which wasn’t much. I would come home from school and cry to my mom. I never thought it would get better. Until one day I started to discover that I needed to really accept the body was I given because it’s the only one I’ve got!
Finding Body Confidence in a Self Portrait
I was a sophomore in college in a photography programming and going through a lot of self discovery. I was especially inspired by some personal issues when I decided to set up a self-portrait that was sure to speak volumes. I grabbed one of my dad’s studio lights, some rope and my camera on a tripod. I had my brother help me with the set up as I described what I was doing. I had nerves setting this up knowing I would be exposing a part of myself to my class. Isn’t that what art school is for?
The result…a big middle finger to anyone who had every commented on my weight or questioned me for an eating disorder. I proudly brought it in to class for critique and to my surprise it was a crowd favorite. That spring I submitted the piece for our graduation museum show and when it was chosen I felt incredibly proud.
I brought my parents and a few friends to the gallery opening where there on the wall was this piece: a controversial and alarming image of myself and this body. Still one of my favorite images I have made.
How Yoga Gave Me More Body Confidence
In the last few years I have learned to really love and appreciate the body I have. It’s certainly not perfect but it’s the only one I’ve got! When I began going to yoga classes I started to notice little things that my body was capable of.
My hip flexors are still pretty flexible from my dancing days and my long arms come in handy when I go to do a bind. [See below] I started to really appreciate how strong my body was all on its own. I noticed how it was changing and getting stronger from yoga. I even put on a little muscle/weight which was a HUGE deal for me. Yoga teaches the non-judgment of not only others but of ourselves. I’m still learning self-love but I can say that yoga has given me much more body confidence.
We all have to love the bodies we were given. I wouldn’t change my body type for all the tea in China. (And I am a tea lover!) Appreciate what you have and learn to respect your body. You may find that your body is capable of so many wonderful things. Cherish it. Love it!
What is your body confidence? Share with us!