Last week, I was called in to do some modeling for a particular brand who needed me to wear a bathing suit so I could promote their new product. Not only did I need to wear a bathing suit, but some of the shots would be focused on my booty since the product would be displayed there.
It wasn’t that I was uncomfortable about the request (I was in a bathing suit, after all, and not showing much cheek), but I was uncomfortable about how my body was currently looking as a whole. If you read my last blog post, I explained that this last month-and-a-half has really been difficult for me; lots of changes in housing and routine. And two major things that happened for me during that time were that I stopped working out consistently, and I stopped eating consistently.
Before all of the life-changing events, I was already dissatisfied with my body; I wanted my weight-lifting and steady eating to help me gain weight to get that natural thickness that really everyone on social media has, except, some of them are gaining it through syrups or surgery.
***I’m going to go ahead and stop right here to make the disclaimer: I’m not here to tell you what to do or not do with your own body. If you choose to get surgery or to take syrup, that is your choice. I think it’s important, though, to not be a part of the pressure of society to force people to feel like they need to do these things in order to feel beautiful. And so many of us say and write this all day long, but it doesn’t discount the fact that there are people who scroll through social media daily, and are unhappy because they feel like they aren’t good enough, pretty enough, thick enough, fit enough, etc. because they haven’t gotten surgery or taken syrup or done the workout regiments to look like the stereotypical attractive person.
I had made some progress, and was actually gaining some true confidence in how I looked…and then this last month-and-a-half happened, and I dropped significant weight. I didn’t think it was a lot until I started trying to wear shorts that I’d worn last summer, and most of them were loose-fitting. And quite honestly, it made me sad, and it made me disappointed in myself for getting down to such a small size.
So, fast forward to last week when I was asked to pose in such a way that my booty would be accentuated, and even while I was posing, I felt like I wasn’t worthy to be doing so. Because these days, all you see are thicker girls in bikinis; to the world, they’re the body type that should be modeling products, not me who’s dropped so much weight in that area. It’s not to say that you don’t see skinnier girls in bikinis, but they aren’t necessarily promoted a lot, at least on the side of social media I’ve been seeing; and more specifically, for the black community.
But, I was asked to do this. And when I felt a wave of insecurity hit me as I was posing I thought to myself, You know what, God gave me this body. And despite all that’s happened to it recently to get me to this point, He allowed it to happen because He knew I was going to be asked to pose for this product, at this time. He knew that I wouldn’t be the weight I originally was because He knows there is someone out there who needs to see me with a body like mine modeling for this product so maybe they won’t feel so alone in how their body looks.
Honestly, this is just scratching the surface of my healing, of re-learning how to love myself the proper way. If you’d asked me back in April if I loved myself, I would have said yes, but I’m learning now that that confidence that I had was built on shifting sand. And it took my world turning upside down to realize that that kind of confidence will only leave me empty. But if I can be confident in who God made me to be inside and out, no matter what I look like, but conscious of the health of my spirit? Whew! That is true and stable self-love.
I pray that you love on yourself and your body today! Thank God for creating you the way that He did, and for sustaining you as you are. Whether you’re tall or short; skinny or bigger; have no health problems or have an auto-immune disease; have a fully-functioning body or have a disability – let us ignore the constant praise of one type of body, and let’s praise God and thank Him for creating the unique people that we are!