What I learned from being #beautiful; what I learned from being #ugly

What I learned from being #beautiful; what I learned from being #ugly

Growing up, my parents were very liberal in the community and very liberal in our home. Just because they had a mixed race baby (me) didn't mean they would stop making me finish all the food on my plate, do my chores, and help out with the yard work. My family was happy to have a "different" child: until they realized I was different.

After a while I noticed that everything people said was "ugly" about me was everything ethnic. My mother said I was fat (I was a size 4 in high school); my boyfriends said my hips were "too big", EVERYONE said my nose was HUGE.

I noticed everything "beautiful" about me was a white feature: my "beautiful" long, straight hair, my "beautiful" green eyes.

I was 14 the first time I went to Detroit, a place I had been told to be scared of. I just stood there at our family reunion just shocked at the beauty of my cousins with fancy beads in their hair, amazing clothes that actually fit them, and they seemed so happy, beautiful, and carefree.

I came back to Canada and realized that all the clothes on the racks were made for a straight up and down shape. The biggest size you could buy in most stores was a size 10, and this is still the case. I'm 5'10" tall. A much "fatter" looking girl, 10" shorter than me, can fit into a much smaller size. None of these clothes fit a person with hips, a big butt, glasses weren't made to fit my nose.

I realized that in a store full of clothes, hundreds of outfits, there was nothing to fit me. Me, or most of the other women shopping. I realized something else, too.

Hundreds of sales were walking out the door, every day, in every town. Millions of dollars in sales were being lost.

It was shocking (and still is) that these people who have never met and do not know me are, from some office thousands of miles away, incredibly invested in making me FEEL ugly.

I starved myself to be socially acceptable in high school. I HAD to be under a size 10, or I wasn't allowed to wear clothes. I wasn't allowed to show my face. When I got down to an exhausted, sink-eyed size four I was so...fake happy. I got dizzy a lot, but that was okay. I forgot what people were saying to me, couldn't remember anyone's name and sometimes lost track of time. clumps of hair came out on my brush.

I told my doctor that I thought I might have an eating disorder and HIS response was "that's impossible, you're not skinny enough."

I'd like to say I learned to accept myself but that would just play into the lie. I'm not the one who needs to accept me. Guys wouldn't be more interested if I "had a better attitude" and i wouldn't like myself better if I just "learned to accept who I am."

I never had a problem accepting who I am. I had a problem going into a store and buying clothes. I had a problem walking down the street without being harassed. I had a problem going to school without being threatened.

I never had a problem with eating too much. I was always a bigger person with more tendency to retain fat than other people. I did have a problem with eating too little and exercising too much. I had a problem with letting other people dictate how I should behave, even though they knew less than nothing about my life.

Its easy to say "I personally don't do this, so it doesn't exist"... but we would be lying. Shopping at a store that doesn't carry anything over a size 10 when the average size of a woman is 14 contributes. Drawing pictures of stylized female bodies that are completely unachievable contributes. Scoffing or outright laughing when you see bigger (than what?) people at the gym or eating a salad twists the knife.

Whether or not I'm beautiful, or ugly, in your opinion, shouldn't matter. It shouldn't keep me from having a job, buying clothes, accessing medical care, or being in a relationship.

If you are judging others for the way they look you are not a good person. You are not "helping them" to lose weight. Weight loss will not save anyone's life, fix their relationship, or their health. It was the exact opposite for me.

Being skinny isn't going to save you: in fact, as I learned the hard way, it can kill you.

What I learned from being #beautiful; what I learned from being #ugly
8 Opinion