I’m going to be real with you all right now – my outfit posts have been seriously lacking this season. I was chucking it up to the big move and getting settled into a new shiftwork role; however, after some soul searching, I no longer believe that that is the case. To me, summer is a season that brings up a lot of body image issues that I have been trying my best to overcome in the last little while. Summer is the season of skin, “sun’s out, guns out” pretty much summing up this mentality. I am not one to ever shy away from showing my skin, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that each crop top or body con dress I style doesn’t pull me completely outside of my comfort zone. There are parts of my body, especially my arms, which I still, to this day, feel uncomfortable showing. Every time I wear a short skirt or sleeveless blouse, I am inundated with memories of my peers ridiculing me, throwing out insults and psychologically bullying me into submission. The woman I am today, the woman that throws up both middle fingers to body shamers and intentionally gets into fights with online trolls, owes nothing to those depraved kids who made me feel uncomfortable in a body I did not choose but learned to love. I am mentally strong enough to take on critiques of my body but that doesn’t mean that I have overcome 100% of my own issues.
Summer is a season in which I am forced to face my insecurities but I refuse to hide them anymore. I used to think that being strong all the time was a brand I wanted to associate myself with but that wouldn’t be a fair representation of my mental state each day. This false advertising is a real life issue associated with bloggers, vloggers and anyone brave enough to share their journeys with the world. We feel that we must put up this false, ever-happy façade in order to keep you, our readers and subscribers, interested for fear of loosing likes or exposure. Luckily for me, likes or the number of followers I have mean nothing to me. I consider myself lucky to have you all read my words and share my journey, but that doesn’t mean I will belittle my feelings, thoughts or inhibitions in order to keep you around. Pure honesty about my journey, including the dark, ugly, sad sides, is what I truly believe in and is my way of helping build up the next generation of Black, fat boys and girls that look like me and have been faced with the same awful treatment as me.
I’m only human. I am still plagued by the ugly names I was called growing up. I still look at the bodies society deem as “ok” and wish that my abs were flatter or my hips smaller or my boobs less saggy. There are days where my level of frustration at not feeling great in my skin brings me to tears, alone, on the floor of my closet. The only difference now is that I no longer let these feelings of insecurity define me. I let myself succumb to these feelings of anger towards my own body but then I dust myself off, throw on a bold lipstick and wear the one sundress that always makes me feel great. Loving your body is more than the convoluted fad that it has become lately – it is a lifelong journey to be taken day-by-day. It is not all sunshine, expertly posed pictures and great angles but it is a journey that I am so happy and willing to share with anyone that will listen.
Love & light always.