My Insecurities are My Purities: A Mixed Girl Overcoming Body Dysmorphia
It's scary being vulnerable, I will admit. It's comparable, in sort, to `sticking your open wound into fire. But good things often come from fire–like pizza; but this not a story about pizza (I'm sorry).
This is a real story about a real girl who’s seen the darkest sides of gray and has journeyed–and is still journeying–her way to immovable self-love, tenacity, and confidence. I'm so happy I can share this with you, so I hope you take an interest.
I am writing this for all women. For the ones who, whether consciously or subconsciously; degrade themselves of their beauty each time they look in the mirror and grumble. Or for the ones who compromise their inner authenticity for the return of momentary satisfaction to fill voids via unhealthy love relationships, unnecessary purchases, extensive hours in the gym, fake friends and social outings you always regret attending.
I’m writing this for the women who throughout their lifetime didn’t tell themselves “I love you” enough.
For the women who know the chill of falling asleep with their cheek pressed against a cold pillowcase.
For the women, who, because they let their brokenness be King, gave room to pitfalls and platonic fallacies of what could or should be.
Now, you can be all or none of these women. Heck, you could be a man reading. And if you are, take this as a call to remind a woman in your life just how amazing, beautiful and powerful she is.
Regardless of category, you can empathize and understand that life changes when you practice self-love. This is for us. This is part of my story, I guess, of healing. Of turning negative into positive and really canceling out what tried to make me feel less than Queen.
I'll start here...
Throughout my childhood I began struggling with self-esteem. Being a child of multiple race can be very confusing. I never felt as though I belonged, or "fit in." I was always the exotic girl to the white family, the black girl to the asian family, and the white girl to the black family.
At school it was no different. I always felt abnormal. I wasn't white, or black, or asian–or like any of the other kids at all. My hair was puffy and my skin was darker, or lighter than the other kids I thought I was the same as.
My intricate background realistically should have prepared me to seemingly mesh with anyone. Today I can, but unfortunately, incidents as a child began to shape my perspective and really began a cycle of criticism, insecurity and confusion that added to my existing plight of racial confusion.
I was 5 years old when my aunt grabbed my leg and called me “chunky”. Looking at her slightly confused and distraught, in that moment unfamiliar sentiments began to overwhelm me. That was the first time in my life I ever saw my body differently–the first time I thought my caramel rich skin was a bad thing.
I was 7 years old when I began to hate my hair, comparatively placing it against the white girls' hair in my class, and deciphering through every possible way it made me less beautiful than them. Although I am proud, because I managed to hold back tears on the various occasions girls would ask me why my hair was “different,” “rough,” “frizzy,” “so big,” or “not soft like mine is.”
I was 8 years old when a mole began to develop on my nose. I remember a boy pointing at me and saying, "Ew. What the hell is that? You're too young to have a nose ring."
I went home and clawed at my face all night until it wasn't there anymore.
My mom cried.
Needless to say, these events were few of the many that stained me with deep rooted hurt and insecurities. These moments began my journey to overcoming negative body image, learning to thrive in the fact that I am absolutely different, and facing the inevitable fact that I will always and forever stand out (which I am totally comfortable with).
I think it's also worth noting how paramount the precious years of childhood are. At that stage, we as girls, and children altogether, are highly impressionable and susceptible to trauma that can literally stay with us throughout our lives.
This also puts a greater demand on us, as adults, role models, and just plain people to ensure we are being kind to others and overdoing it when it comes to telling young girls how amazing they are. We hear this message circulate, but are we really living it? We owe it to our following generation to build their esteem with the right things.
Imagine the pain girls and women would avoid if we just reminded them more often of the INTERNAL and external beauty they possessed from a young age. Makeup industries would measurably dissipate. We wouldn't inadvertently compare ourselves to others, or seek such esteemed forms of validation.
As much those events burned me; a good thing really did come out of the fire. Today, my insecurities have become my purities. What I mean by that is; the things that once made me feel less beautiful, less valid and less loved now empower me in the opposite way. They are what I love most about myself. The primary reason? Because I’ve learned to prioritize love. Love really is the glue and the force that makes the world go round.
Thank you for reading.