Needless to say, as you grow older, your body changes. And with those changes comes a lot of insecurity.
My sister and I were always the skinny kids, the ones the aunts and grandmothers would remark about: “Oh, they must eat nothing at all!” “Why look at you, you’re like sticks!” “Are you sure you don’t have worms? That may be why you’re so thin.” Our parents were never ones to worry or make us feel insecure about how we looked, so thank you, Mom and Dad. Not to say these comments bothered us — at that age hardly anything does — and at this age I can see that they spoke purely out of love and concern.
But, it creates an interesting dichotomy to what the media portrays as the attractive woman. In youth, you’re asked why you’re so thin. Age a little, and you’re asking yourself why you aren’t so skinny. I put on weight through my teenage years, at times much to my disappointment. I went from skinny to what was essentially chubby, and it bothered me. It bothered me that my stomach stuck out, that my thighs were larger than the other girls, that I weighed more than the average weight of the people I knew.
Older and wiser, I figured out how to appreciate the way I looked. It’s confidence in yourself that makes you attractive, not the shape you are. Being physically healthy and looking after your body is more important than attempting to force it into a mold that it doesn’t want to fit into. I’m sure much of the same has been said to you before, or you’ve read it, and if you haven’t, it will probably come your way at some point. Words from people you don’t know can’t do much to convince you of truths that you have to find for yourself, but you have to trust that those truths are out there.
People call me skinny today, and I dismiss their comments with a “No, no, look at this” and proceed to gesture to my thighs or stomach. While I’m not as chubby as I was, I don’t consider myself skinny. Skinny is not a trait I want on my list — not because when I was young it was made out to be unhealthy but because “skinny” cannot begin to encompass my body type. Skinny is not bad, but neither is it an ideal or the perfect body type. There are days when I wish my thighs aren’t the size they are, but nothing could motivate me to change the way they are other than the threat of a serious lack of fitness and health.
If there is a point to this ramble, it’s this: However you look, an aspiration to be healthy and a little self-confidence is all you need to feel, and look, attractive. If you want to alter the way you look for purely aesthetic reasons, all I can hope is that you’re doing so for yourself and not for anyone else because, at the end of it all, you live in your body, not them.