Women’s bodies are all created differently. There’s the pear shaped body, bodies with curves and the boyish figure, just to name a few.
But not all bodies, unfortunately, are loved universally.
One day, when I was younger, a boy punched me in the stomach, called me fat and walked away. I was shocked. Nobody had ever physically hit me before that day.
Since then, I have always worried about being fat or “gordita.”
I remember when the doctor first warned me about my weight. I was 10 years old. She told me that I was 108 pounds and if I continued to eat Cheetos and other processed foods that I would be considered obese.
But instead of deterring me, her warning made me more depressed. In my mind I thought I already was chubby, so I continued to eat more and more processed sugars. Gummy bears were my favorite.
For me, there were no limits. I remember moving out of the young girls section at the department store and into the juniors section. I got so mad at myself because the women’s clothes looked so much bigger.
I was ashamed of my size, and was afraid to talk about my weight with others. It didn’t help that there was so much pressure from inner social circles at school.
I always wished I were smaller, like some of my friends. There was even one point when a group of friends were measuring themselves with rulers. When I didn’t measure up, they kicked me out of their group. I felt completely isolated.
There is definitely an issue in America about our bodies. Women of color especially are constantly battling society, the media and themselves when it comes their bodies and how it measures up to what they see on TV.
The media projects such a limited view of what a women should look like, and there are not many role models for women who are bigger, especially for women of color.
A report shows that 90 percent of women have eating disorders are between the age of 12 and 25 years old. I know several women close to me who have suffered from an eating disorder.
Today, I have come to love my body and by talking honestly in dialogue, I hope we can shift this culture and women can begin to love themselves no matter what they look like. From there, women can become more confident and begin to think of themselves in a positive light.
In the video above, VoiceWaves spoke with a diverse group of four women to highlight what they love most about their bodies.
For more information about health issues for women of color, go to www.ourbodiesourselves.org.