Ru Paul said it best “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”…I’m not obese, I’m not anorexic, I’m not ugly, I’m not a model, I’m me. I’m Liv. I may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I am my own cup of my own tea. These days, I can’t scroll through my Facebook feed or my Instagram feed without seeing advertisement’s for things like “flat tummy tea” or “way to lose 10 inches in 1 week”…It’s everywhere… the NEED to be a certain way…I was never an over weight child, and I was pretty active. I was just hit with the puberty bomb a little faster than the other girls I grew up with. I remember an old friend of mine once telling me “you could only be 1 of 2 things…thin, or beautiful…it’s not often we are both without trying too hard”… I will never forget when those words were said to me… I looked at this friend and thought to myself “wow…you have a very construed view of beauty”… but was it just her view? We walk around society judging other women and comparing ourselves to them, for things that we may not have… “She has great hips… but I have none”…”Well at least you’re skinny…you can pull off any piece of clothing”… It’s become ridiculous…Ridiculous to know that as I walk into a room…a store…or any public place, women are looking at me and comparing me to themselves or someone else. Now I’m not going to sit here and preach purity. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never done either of those things (judge or compare) I’m only human. However, I can proudly say that I have stopped doing so.
It’s taken a long time to love myself for who I am, and not change myself to suit others around me. I had a hard time growing up around other girls. I hated going through puberty because EVERYTHING developed at once on me… in the front and in the back…I swear to God, I went to bed one night a normal 12 year old, and I woke up the next morning with aching breasts and thundering thighs. It made finding clothes really hard. I was bullied in elementary school for maturing before the other girls did and it was not pretty. I hung out with a lot of boys because I was a tom-boy who always tied her hair back, and wasn’t afraid to fall on her knees and sport a kick ass scab. Some of the girls in my classes did NOT like that. Which is why I primarily hung out with boys, because the girls were mean. This trend went on in the rest of my life as well. I just get along better with males. These girls called me all sorts of awful things. For instance, they told me I resembled a fat boy with boobs, and told me the boys only like me because I look like them. They were mean, and I didn’t understand what karma was back then, but I can assure you that they all got their doses…As most of you have seen by now from my social posts, my boyfriend Jordan and I met when we were 16 years old. We were babies. We were both young and changing inside and out. We’re also going on 10 years this May. In 10 years, while taking some trials and tribulations, I can easily say that I have confidence in the love he has for me. By that, what I mean is I don’t question his affection or feelings for me anymore. There have been countless arguments and times of tears where I would ask him “do you love me?…and I still pretty?” and his answer has always been “yes babe!” He makes it a point to tell me I’m beautiful almost every day. That gives me confidence. Confidence in knowing that even though I may have gained 30lbs by stress eating my way through some pretty traumatic life problems in the last 2 years, he will always love me and think I”m beautiful. I was always curious to know if I would find someone who loved me even though I had a chubby face, thick thighs and a tummy. I always thought it was gross for me to look the way I did, until Jordan came along. I truly believe I am the lucky one, for finding him and being able to love him for the past 10 years. He has taught me so many things about life and myself. The biggest lesson he’s ever taught me was to love. Love without knowing what it was like to give someone your entire life and everything you are. No matter what society said.
When did it become okay for society to tell us that gaining an extra 30lbs, was not okay, or acceptable to be proud of. I’m proud of my body because after gaining that weight, I know that my body is real. That the pain I felt was real pain, and it’s okay to feel pain. It’s okay to grieve differently than others. And that it’s okay to look differently than other women do. As women of this world, we need to be lifting each other up. We need to be applauding each other for dealing with some of the shit that we do have to deal with. Including the way a female’s body changes compared to how males go through body changes.
Find me a girl who is 100000% not lying when they say they would not change a thing about their body. We are all our harshest critic, and that is scarier than society standards. Our criticism is influence by society. Society is influenced by standards and stereotypes. Self love stems from inside. It stems from not listening to what everyone else has to say… Again, as females, we need to be building each other up. We need to stop using words like fat, skinny, ugly, slut, when referring to ourselves and our female peers because it just gives other people the right to use those words against us as well. Self love is knowing that to someone, you are drop dead gorgeous. There is someone out there that thanks God every day and night that you are in their life. Self love is looking the mirror and thinking “I’ve got this!”. Self love is knowing that your shape or size does not define who you are. Using the words “plus size” does not mean you are any lesser of a human being.
It’s taken me many years to accept myself for who I am. I will probably never be a thin girl walking around with a crop top on and some daisy dukes showing off her rockin’ body, and I’m okay with that. I’m healthy, I get myself to the doctors and checked, I’m a plus size girl and that isn’t a bad thing. I used to cry whenever certain things didn’t fit me but they fit my other friends…especially in the top region. I used to avoid shopping because I didn’t want to go into stores like Rikki’s or Addition Elle because my breast size made shopping in “Straight” sizes very difficult. I remember a time when I used to sneak into stores like that, just because I was embarrassed to be in those stores. I was in denial. But oh sweet baby Jesus in a good way, is it ever EMPOWERING to walk into those stores and try on stuff that actually fit my body shape! It has taken me many years to accept myself for who I am, how I look, what I feel. It has taken me many years not to compare myself to other females, wondering why I can’t look like them. It will continue to take me many years to understand, why our brains are wired to follow society standards… and that…is…ok…
“When you adopt the viewpoint that there is nothing that exists that is not part of you, that there is no one who exists who is not part of you, that any judgment you make is self-judgment, that any criticism you level is self-criticism, you will wisely extend to yourself an unconditional love that will be the light of the world.”
– Harry Palmer