I’ve always had a chocolate complexion- evenly colored from my forehead to my feet. Beautiful and even (unless I was out in the sun and got a tan). That was never an issue for me; my weight and acne however, that was a huge issue for me. I was always really skinny growing up. I’m talking size 0 skinny. And I have a long torso so it made me look taller than I really was.
Buying clothes that fit was such a pain at such a young age – clothes were too big, too short or too long, or just didn’t sit properly on such a small frame. Couple that with the teasing and the name calling; I was called a twig, a broomstick, toothpick, stick figure- any skinny joke you can think of was thrown at me. I was not happy with my size at all.
In high school, I started to gain a little weight (how, I have no clue). I went from a size 0 to 2, which was a little better. It made buying clothes easier, and the fabric started to sit properly on my frame. But then puberty hit (I was a late bloomer). In junior high, I started getting acne. It started off with a pimple here and there, that turned into my forehead being covered in little puss bumps.
When those went away, they started coming on my cheeks, my chin, my nose, my chest, and my arms. And I bruise extremely easily, so the pimples turned into dark marks on my face and chest. So here I am, uncomfortably skinny with pimples and dark marks all over my face. I developed self-esteem issues.
After high-school, I started college out in Georgia. I was away from my friends and family and unhappy with the being so far away from everyone, and I was on a new birth control that made my acne extremely worse. I started to gain weight, but only because I would go to school, go to work, then come home and go to sleep.
I was finally fitting clothes properly and starting to like & love my body, but I was starting to hate my face. Win one and lose another. I moved back to Philadelphia and got into an abusive relationship. One thing he said to me while trying to belittle me was “if you really wanted to do something about your face you would’ve went to the doctors”.
At the time that comment hurt, but after I left the relationship I remember hearing those words and decided to actually go to the doctors. During this whole time, I lost a lot of weight. I went from a size 12 to a size 4, trying to please him. I, in turn, ended up being unhappy with my weight again.
I went to the dermatologist who put me on a medication regimen for my face, and I met my boyfriend. My face started to clear up and I started to gain my weight back. I was finally happy with the person that looked back at me in the mirror. I just took too long to get to that point.
We, as women, feel like we have this “image or idea” of what we are supposed to look like in order to be deemed BEAUTIFUL. Where did we get these ideas from and why do we give it so much weight and value? Especially when we hear these comments and ideologies being pushed on us at a young age; self-esteem kills childhoods without us even realizing it. I grew up believing that I was too skinny to be pretty, then I was taught that my face was too scared to be beautiful. I’m just barely out of my twenties.
Self-image is extremely important, and not just for females. Myself included, people have the notion that image and beauty and body shaming is something directed towards females and completely exclude men. The reality is that image and body shaming hits home to both males and females.
The men who are constantly in the gym trying to “bulk up” to look good is battling some type of insecurity. The athletes who are trying to wear their hair a certain way or slim down to a certain weight to make the cut battle weight and body shaming. This isn’t something that is completely singled out to females.
It is a struggle trying to fit into a society whose idea of “beautiful” changes every 2-3 years. Now, being black with an afro and having luscious lips, hips, thighs, and butt is the IT thing, but 10 years ago it was deemed ugly and unattractive. I have thankfully found the strength to love myself despite what society tells me is pretty, but it wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s. Let’s teach our girls to be beautiful NOW so that we don’t pay the consequence later.
Meet Kishna Jeantine, a Mother, Wife, Business Consultant, Relationship Coach, Blogger and a wonderful mix of different things. She is the author behind this beautiful and inspiring post. Please be sure to check out her Blog, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Page.