HELLO WORLD I TURNED 21 TODAY!
Yes, the glorious day of the 17th of August has finally arrived, and I feel that usual tinge of excitement (as everyone does) on the day of their birthday. Birthdays are funny, I think they are a little similar to New Years’, in the sense that they bring feelings of reflections of the past year and life in general, but also invite to create new resolutions or hopes for what is to come. I’ve thought a lot about how I lived my own life this past month, and I am proud of myself for a lot of things, but I also wish I did some things differently. As all of you may know if you follow me on instagram (and if you don’t, uh what are you waiting for?? follow at @amenitoomany), I’ve been writing and posting a lot about mental health, especially on self-love lately. I’ve struggled a lot with my insecurities and loving myself in the past few years, and writing about it really is liberating! So, to celebrate my 21 years, I decided to do just that. To write about how far I’ve come, how much I’ve grown, and how much I still have to grow! Reflecting on these things is honestly a little difficult, and sharing it on the internet is also a little intimidating too. But lately, I’ve realized how important it is for me to speak up for the things that actually matter to me, and not the fancy posts you usually see that may or may not have any use, but don’t necessarily add any value to personal growth, which I’m always seeking.
In this post (oh my god, why do I feel like I’m writing an academic essay?!), I’m going to writing about one insecurity that I’ve had to deal with most of my life. To make this a little more fun, I decided to collaborate with the lovely sisters Aiza and Haleema, who just started their blog A Little Peanuts! They also post a lot about mental health, self-love, self-image, and other related topics, so please be sure to check them out!!
A note in regards to photos: they are absolutely unfiltered. Hair wasn’t done, make up wasn’t done, it was just us and nothing more or less. When you read these texts, I hope you feel inspired to write your own stories. If you are still going through insecurities and battling them, tell us about them! And post more unfiltered photos of you! In fact, after reading this, I challenge you to post a photo of yourself, with the hashtag #alittleunfiltered. I’ll post them on my story, give you a shout out, and I’ll even post the best ones on my feed! Let’s spread self love and body positivity! Enjoy the post and until next time! – A
“Life is about the little victories. My latest victory was moving the furniture in my new dorm room all by myself. It seems like a silly thing to take pride in, but when I started college as a freshman and and wanted to redecorate my dorm room, I dragged my bed halfway before I broke down because I couldn’t. Eventually I dusted myself off and was slowly able to get it where I wanted, but I felt very small and weak.
I have gone through several episodes of
binge eating and starvation in my life, because no matter how many kilos I weighed, or what the size of my waist was, there was always someone criticizing me for being to skinny or too wide. At some point this year I realized that the purpose of my body isn’t to fit an unrealistic stencil of an ideal. It is to allow me to carry out everyday tasks, and my job is to let it perform at its optimum.
At 21, I am the happiest and the heaviest I have ever been in my life. I am 5’3 and 120 lbs, but those numbers aren’t what make me happy; it is everything my body is capable of doing that makes me happy. It allows me to move my own furniture, to run all my errands, and to shimmy when I’m happy. For everything my body does for me, I love it, and I nurture it, be it munching on fresh fruit, or sneaking in some KFC, a little cardio or some extra sleep.
Showing yourself a little bit of that love is uplifting and empowering. The stretch marks on your thights aren’t tiger stripes, and your belly jelly is in fact, food babies. But your body is your own, and for everything that it does for you, regardless of the number your scale reads, it deserves all your love”. – Aiza
“Was there a time in my life when I thought I was undeniably beautiful? If there ever was, I don’t remember it. What I do remember is cultivating anxieties over different parts of my body; my legs being too fat, my chest being too skinny, my hair being too curly, my face being too round, and my nose being too wide.
I hated my nose, a hate that seems to be too cruel coming from a child. I wanted a small sleek one like my peers (i know, it is like as if I’m talking about an iPhone) but God decided otherwise. It has a bump that I absolutely despised, and i just wished its tip wasn’t as bulging, wasn’t as wide, didn’t look like a potato.
I remember thinking to myself in the mirror, and just imagining something different in the middle of my face. I would start pushing it slightly upwards, trying to make it look less unattractive. I would turn to the side, imagining what it would be like to have it straight, just like my mother’s. I would spend moments of my day just looking at my father’s, at my grandmother’s, wondering why on earth did I inherit this bump that they so proudly carry. I also remember once staying up until 3 am watching videos about how fillers/ nose jobs could help me feel less self conscious about my face. I never had the courage to tell my family I wanted surgery.
Why all this hate? I could say it’s because of the media; no Victoria Secret model has a nose that looks like mine. I could also tell you it’s because of being bullied for it. When I was in 8th grade, a girl in my class nastily told me (out of the complete blue) that my nose was the ugliest she’s ever seen. When I was in 10th grade, someone commented on my photo saying that I had a Jewish nose (not that I have anything towards Jews, but the comment was not well intentioned nor was it solicited).
The truth is, this complex, I’ve developed i
t not because of what people told me or what I saw, but because I told myself that I wasn’t pretty enough. I internalized the fact that, the image of the ideal does not correspond to what I was. I hated my nose, not because it was ugly, but because it did not correspond to what people thought was beautiful. When I realized this, I tried to change my attitude towards my self image. Instead of looking at my nose and wondering how prettier I would be if I had Emma Watson’s, I’d try to think of what clothes and make up and hairstyles I could try to make me feel more comfortable in my own skin. The battle was not just for my nose; accepting myself in general was difficult, and involved me constantly searching for ways of loving myself without seeking to look like someone else.
I still find myself sometimes looking at my nose, wondering why it looks the way it does. I can’t say I love it, but I can tell you that I don’t hate it anymore. When I feel insecure about it, I try to prove to myself that this nose, this nose that I hated so much, it’s mine! To hell with the Victoria Secret models! No one has my nose, and whether people like it or not, there is beauty in it. I feel the same way about my hair, my legs, my chubby cheeks. My beauty is not represented in the big screen, but I am still beautiful! In fact, I am at a place in my life where I have finally accepted and loved myself the way I am. There is still occasional moments when I feel doubt, and this is normal. They usually come with harsh comparison, and I try to let it not get to me. What matters the most is that I find beauty within myself, and I have”. – Ameni