When I was a child I remember being teased about my height. I would always seem to be the shortest student in class. I got use to walking towards the front for every group shot. But honestly, I don't think I really minded - if anything it made me kinda special: "I'm the cute short girl".
However, this uniqueness began to ware off as I grew up, matured and people still only thought of me as cute or remarked that I look 5 years younger than I was.
"You will love looking younger when you are older" -my mother always declared.
But I didn't want to wait, I wanted respect from my peers and acquaintances. However, it didn't help that on top of always looking younger than actuality, I was also timid and insecure. I am still on the path towards total self-acceptance and love but I have come so far. It all started with the motto: " Fake it til you make it" . Put on a brave face and your journey towards acceptance has begun. College definitely was a catalyst that helped me become a confident woman (in training).
I now understand that loving yourself doesn't necessarily mean not wanting to change anything about your appearance or personality, but rather understanding your inherent worth and entitlement. Yes, you are loved and yes you deserve it! You are strong, capable, inspiring, beautiful and intelligent! You must realize that everyone (unfortunately) has insecurities and is on their own journey. The most important act we can do is to be kind to everyone; most importantly ourselves!
Looking back, I wish I could retrace some of those early days and school mornings. I can't think of where it all started or exactly when it began to bother me. Did someone say something to me in school? Did my own family make remarkable comments? Would I have been aware of them otherwise? All I remember is staring at my 4' by 2' mirror fixed in my perfectly painted bedroom walls and hating them. I don't know if I cried, if I threw a tantrum or just acted sad, but whatever it was it convinced my parents to let me do it.
One of the only memories I have is blaming my mom, my sweet, caring, loving mom. "You made me like this, it's your fault" I said. She wanted what was best for me, so she didn't contradict me. She called the doctor. I must have been 7 when it started because I remember being upset that I had to wait another FULL YEAR to get my surgery. What a cruel world. Could I bear another 12 months of wearing headbands over my monstrous ears? I wasn't sure.
I remember laying down in the surgery room, my mom holding my hand. There were major lights above me and the doctor gave me something with a funny smell and then I woke up. I woke up sicker than ever. I had to miss school. I had a big helmet around my head in the peak of summer.
Don't get me wrong. I don't regret getting plastic surgery. I don't blame my parents for letting me, if anything I can only thank them after all, they have been incredibly supportive from then to now. But how did it start? What happens for a child to hate a part of their body (who mind you wasn't even that bizarre) so much that the only way out seems so extreme? What message are kids getting?
I'm all for doing what makes you happy, if you want bigger breasts, and if that's going to make truly make you happy, do it. I think it's okay to want to change your body. But more importantly is knowing why. Did I hate my ears because others hate it? That doesn't seem like a great reason to want to change it so drastically. I only wish I could pinpoint to the moment I flipped the switch and decided that I wasn't good enough, because I'd go back and say 'honey, love yourself, and go play.'
It's helpful to know we're not the only one who faces problems with body shaming. Here's a chance to share.