UNCONDITIONAL BODY BEAUTY: my body and I from the beginning

Age 20, Brooklyn, NY

Age 20, Brooklyn, NY

#unconditionalbodybeauty 12 years old, posing with my baton

#unconditionalbodybeauty 12 years old, posing with my baton

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In this society, it’s really mostly about NOT being ok. . . The feeling that you must have to fix something about your body. There are ” smalls”,  “skinnies”, “normals”, “biggies”, and “fatties”, etc. Throughout a lifetime your body may have passed through any of these categories.  Or perhaps  it may have belonged to just one.

I myself am a product of the Midwestern United States, born in the state of Nebraska weighing in at 7 lbs,6 oz. Sorry, I can’t show an early baby pic, mom says the hospital camera was broken. ( As you may know I’m making up that lost camera time now).

Based on my birth size, I came in this world as an average-sized baby girl.

I was energetic and creative as a child. I liked to socialize and play with my friends and put on makeup. My mother put me in ballet class at the age of 4 until I was 17. During my formative years I was very aware of body shapes and sizes, as leotard and tights was the standard uniform and there was no hiding in that. I noticed my build in comparison to my peers, we were all pretty similar at first. Every year I would get measured for new dance shoes and gaudy costumes. I appreciated my legs and arms that moved me to dance, my torso that kept me steady. Mom would  sometimes say I had thighs like hers, that I had “saddlebags”, I only had a slight notion of what she meant, especially since I had a slim build at that time. As we all grew older, I observed the changes, chests and hips growing bigger, etc. But we all stayed in tights and leotards, mirrors all around us  reminding us of our full 360 degree view. There was nothing to hide in the dance room. This was you.

Age 12, 5’4, 120 lbs, age 13, 5’6, 125 lbs, age 14, 5’8, 146 lbs, age 15, 5’9, 170 lbs, age 16, 191lbs and graduating high school around the same weight. I was mostly considered a “big girl”,  “thick”, even remember being called stout by a family member from the South, (although the latter reminds me of a short big person). I think my BMI records me as obese, which that I do not feel I am. I fit in all the average- sized bus and airline seats and can even fit one -size-fits-all tube tops. I’m just an average voluptuous woman, without too many problems shopping in mainstream stores.

I am 95% at peace with my body. Most of my clothes are body-skimming. I don’t hide much, that’s not my personality.

I realize many people show their dissatisfaction with their bodies around New Year’s. I don’t think I ever made resolutions about weight then. I am over 200 lbs, my weight fluctuates some, but overall my average is over that. There is no scale in my house, however, I do have a tape measure. I do fit model work as a size 18. My weight has fluctuated to a small degree during adulthood. My lowest adult weight at 180 lbs. and a size 12/14. While I was losing the weight, which was weight lost purely from stress. I felt like I was losing my “oomph”. I like the body God gave me. I feel strong, I feel dominant, I feel womanly all at once. My muscle tone holds me well, so many people tell me “you’re not that big” “you’re not plus size”. . .

To continue my rant, recently a photographer  friend of mine described my body type as athletic. I hadn’t heard that one much. I think of an “athletic” person in my mind with smaller breasts, few curves and lots of muscle. When I think of the way I look in some pictures today, I guess I can see a “leaness” to my build although I have curves. I think so many people don’t just fit one type of body category. I remember reading information as a child about ectomorphs, endomorphs and mesomorphs. For more details on that, follow this link:

http://m.dummies.com/how-to/content/determining-your-body-type.html

 Based on my height and long limbs, I would fall into the ectomorph category, although they say ectomorphs are slim, which I am not . . .see anthropologists can’t even get it right.

I do make fashion choices based upon my body acceptance. I like colors, textures and form-fitting clothing. My closet looks like a costume factory, a lot of excitement going on. Only thing I try to make peace with is my “mommy pouch”, I understand how it came to be, but wish it was gone away. In any case 95% of me is alright by me. . .and that’s what matters most.

Photography Rad Benn, Almond Beach-Barbados

Photography Rad Benn, Almond Beach-Barbados

See videos of me

April 2013:

 

April 2014:

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