When I was in my teenage years I didn’t think I was pretty. There were various things about the way I look that bothered me: my nose was too big, my chin, my eyes and my breasts too small and too make it even worse, I had curly hair (Is there any 15 years old who wants that?). To complete my grateful looks I was way too tall, especially when compared to the boys in my class, that at the time were all smaller. It got to the point that my mom was worried and took me to a specialist to make sure I was soon going to stop growing.
I tried to fix everything, at least what was easy to change, I constantly blow dried my hair and never, ever, used high heels.
The path that led me to start appreciating my body was very slow, I believe in the bottom of my heart I knew I didn’t need those big boobs I dreamed about in order to be and feel happy in my body, but at the time I sure did want to look “perfect”.
When I was in my early twenties I remember a friend told me I had a different kind of beauty, that wasn’t a classic one. He didn’t say that as a compliment, he made it clear he didn’t think I was the prettiest girl on the block, but that I was different.
That conversation bothered me for a very long time. What did he mean by saying I was different? He still is a close friend but we never spoke about it again, and with time I started changing my perception of that conversation until it no longer bothered me. I stopped thinking about perfection, the sculptural bodies that I saw on beauty magazines or the symmetric faces of famous models, and started focusing on feeling connected to myself and my body.
I stopped going to the gym because I honestly couldn’t stand it and instead looked for physical activities that I actually enjoyed, like walking, cycling and doing yoga, and started making conscious decisions about the food I eat but kept my daily doses of sweet because I simply love it.
Understanding what works for me was very important for me to accept myself and stopped doing things I didn’t like in order to become someone else (or even thinking about doing things I knew were not for me – like getting a nose job).
So my nose is still a little bigger than average and it will always be like that, my eyes are still small and almost disappear when I smile, my breasts are probably even smaller after breastfeeding for 21 months, but I do love my body more than ever, it’s perfectly different. It’s unique.
Every day I remember to be thankful for my body, my temple. Grateful for my legs that take me to the walks I adore, the arms I use to hold my baby boy and nose that let me smell him.