A really good friend of mine found this site. For weeks now he and I have been talking about getting into shape and he wanted to encourage me further. He kept asking about my goal weight and I just kept avoiding the subject. I made excuses about why I couldn't weigh in (no scale, out on an errand, etc...). I was too scared to even weigh myself.
I've wanted model my tattoos for some time now, but I was afraid to get more ink with my less-than-Hollywood body, especially my arms and thighs. I have two younger sisters, one who is a beautiful southern bell with blonde hair and long legs, and the other who has the tone of a gothic beauty with striking blue eyes. Both of them shed pounds like they're going out of style. I, on the other hand, started gaining in middle school and just didn't stop. Because of this, I became accustomed to seeing slim girls with their narrow hips and itty bitty everything's and here I was, slightly overweight and feeling like I should be breaking chairs as I sat.
I had stretch marks before I got into high school. There is a scar in the middle of my back where I wore the wrong size bra for months, not realizing it was slowly digging into my skin because of my rapid weight gain. I was miserable and I sought comfort in relationships, which was the worst mistake ever. I thought I could love someone fully without truly loving myself and I ended up having my heart broken repeatedly. Then I began to settle and, by the time I realized what I was doing, I was almost married to a man who would've destroyed my life.
When I clicked on my friend's link and started sifting through the women with my shape, I broke down into tears. I kept scrolling while the tears fell because I couldn't believe what I was seeing. All of these bodies that I continuously dreamt of having and, wow! They were all the same as mine. (Seriously, though, where do you guys go shopping 'cause my clothes do not flatter me at ALL!)
Where did I go wrong? How did I get such a jaded self-image of myself when I already had everything I wanted?
My point, ladies, is that beauty is not a size and we just need to take a step back and look around us. We aren't alone in our struggle, there are others out there who walk in our shoes every day.
The My Body Gallery project needs real Women! We need your help to develop the project and build a collection of photos that will help more women see themselves more clearly. Upload a picture of your full body. Our photo submission process also allows you to block out part of the image to protect your identity, if you wish. Please note that you must be 18 to upload a photo.