Since I was a kid I've never felt normal in terms of my body. (Everything else too, back then it was rare to find other black girls into the things I was into.) I compared myself to my big sister and my female cousin whose my age. I was the biggest and most awkward. Growing up I was that quiet girl who wore the same jacket almost every day and never showed skin. Shorts, dresses, and skirts were a nightmare. Tight fitting clothes even worse. Back then it wasn't just that I was fatter, during my development something strange happened with my body and one of my breasts grew much bigger than the other. Breast asymmetry, basically. A lot of girls have it except mine was so bad and noticeable my family became worried I had breast cancer.
As a teenager I tried to live with it and hide it as best as I could.
I tried being normal.
But, I couldn't.
I tried being normal.
But, I couldn't.
Also I begun feeling weird about how big my lips were (funnily enough) and my crooked teeth. Life was hard, I never put on bathing suits, felt awkward in trendy clothes, and was always conscious of my body in general. I thought people noticed my breasts and thought I was a freak. This disfigurement ruined a good portion of my teenage years also being self conscious about how big I was. Then the older I got the more aware I became of the stretchmarks that are not only on my thighs but also on the backs of my legs. The more I noticed them the more horrified I got and I tried everything to get rid of them. Every oil, every expensive cream, even derma rolling. Nothing worked.
I begun to feel trapped and resentful of my body, I hated it with every fiber of my being. I'd compare myself to every girl I'd see searching for stretchmarks on the backs of their legs and when I saw none I'd convince myself of how weird and disgusting I alone am. Of how I'll never be normal. Sometimes I'd even get snide comments from my own family about my body. I'll never forget when my stepmom was drunk and saw my stretch marks on my thigh once and coiled in disgust and said "ewww stretch marks." Or the time my sister told me how fat I had gotten or my Mom calling me retarded and weird. Yeah.
When the Instagram age started I felt even worse, every girl seemed perfect except me. Perfect skin, perfect body, perfect breasts, perfect legs. And here I am. I hated my body to the point of wanting to die, avoiding mirrors, and not taking care of myself. This behavior has followed me to adulthood and only recently have I begun to tackle my demons and work on myself. In the past few years I've stopped myself from doing so much due to my insecurities and as much as I want to be regretful, sad, etc I'm forgiving myself.
I can't change the past or predict the future but I can change what happens right now and today I've decided to come to terms with my body. I'm grateful for the body I was born with. I can walk, use my arms, talk, see, hear, run. I have general good health. My body is amazing and I hate that it's taken me 26 years to realize that.
I will never be perfect!
NEVER. NEVER. NEVER.
And I'm beginning to be okay with that. No one is perfect and that's why the world is interesting. I can't please everyone and that's okay. Everyone is not going to like me and that's okay. I'm learning to not give a fuck what people think and do me!
Since then I've gotten surgery on my breast due to health concerns and it's not as drastically big as what it was but it's still slightly bigger. One day I will get my breasts done but for now I accept them. I don't want to be anyone else I just want to be me. I'm forgiving myself for harming my body, for ignoring it, for not wearing exactly what I want, for walking away from opportunities out of fear.
I've come so far and it's when I look at old pictures of myself I realize that.
I wanted to write this as a start to my new healthy body journey. It's more than about losing weight it's about learning to nourish my body and treat it right.
(awkward teenage Lanelle😅)