Happy New Year everyone! 2020, new year, new me. That’s what most people think at the start of a new year. So many new possibilities and opportunities to start fresh, to turn over a new leaf. A whole new year to achieve everything that you have always wanted to achieve. I strongly believe that one truly can start fresh if they really want to, which is why every new year I start by writing my goals and resolutions down in hope of a happier and more successful year.
The most common resolution, which I too am guilty of, is becoming some fitness, healthy eating guru with abs like some Victoria Secret model or Marvel comics superhero. The reality is that I have written that goal down since I was 13 but never achieved it. Why? Well, apart from the obvious lack of determination and willpower ( and my love for chocolate), I wonder whether my intentions to achieve this goal was overshadowed by why I should really be trying to be healthy. In the end, the reason why most people write, “ Getting fit” into their resolutions usually isn’t because they just want to live a healthier lifestyle, at least at first it isn’t. This is where social media becomes our worst enemy.
What inspired me to write this article is a post I saw on my Instagram feed the day after New Years stating that women should stop making our goals about our bodies and focus on intelligent goals that will make us stronger mentally and that will give us stability. I see where this post was going. I feel that so many resolutions have become superficial in many ways, have a killer body, obtain X number of followers on Instagram, etc. Nonetheless, I also have my issues with it.
Personally, I have struggled with the way I viewed my body since middle school, believing I was not skinny enough, too curvy, too short. I look back at photos and think, how could I have said that to myself when I was 13? It progressively got worse but it isn’t something I would ever let anyone know. My body, like most women, has been one of my biggest insecurities. I know that many who know me and are reading this are perhaps surprised? I always seemed so confident in my outfits or at least it’s because I just pretended to be comfortable. Thing is, I have always been a good liar, which is not necessarily a good thing but it continues to be one of the things that I do every day, pretend I’m ok when I’m not, smile and act like all is well. This is why, in 2020 one of my goals is to be honest to myself, to others and social media, starting with this article. Why is it that we pretend to be fine when we are not? Why is it that society has forced us, both men and women, to put on masks and to pretend as if we are always happy and ok when the majority of us aren’t? I refuse to continue to be dictated by society on how I should act, I refuse to be called hysterical if I’m emotional, or not beautiful because I’m not deemed by society good enough to walk a runway.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not shaming the fitness gurus and models out there, the contrary, I admire you for your strength and determination and I know that for you too it isn’t always easy. What I’m getting at is that I want to change the narrative of how people view themselves. Our bodies are just the starting point where we try to be like everyone else and to fit into the margins of society. I no longer want to hear my friends claim they are too big or too skinny because the reality is they are perfect just the way they are. Why is it not good enough that everyone looks the way they do and are all beautiful in their own way? I have had days where I look in the mirror and I have some rush of confidence. Those brief moments where I feel confident, beautiful. I accept the fat roll, my thick thighs, and flappy arms and say “hey, actually my body is perfect and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” I see singers like Lizzo ( did you see that Grammy performance tho?FLAWLESS) or models like Ashley Graham who inspire me to appreciate myself and love myself for who I am. However, then I open Instagram, a magazine or even Netflix and am overcome by images and videos of beautiful people with the ideal body letting all the negative voices come rushing back.
What I believe the post mentioned at the start of this #loveyourself rant was trying to get at is, that we shouldn’t try to change ourselves for the sake of society and how people think we should act or look. We have to do what we define as success and happiness. Maybe this does mean hitting the gym, but maybe you think, no I’m happy with how I look and what I really want to do is hit the books and learn a new trade or try out a new hobby. For so long we have all been dictated on how to be the ideal women or man that anything that steers away from that means we are not deemed good enough or worthy. Either we are too big, too small, too old, too young, to black, to white, etc, and well frankly I am sick of it. Why is being me, not good enough?
So 2020, this year I am going to do what makes me happy. I am going to live my life how I deem right and I will be unapologetically myself. And I encourage everyone to do the same because no matter what you look like, you are perfect in every way. #LOVEYOURSELF
Do you have a story you would like to share? Comment down below your stories and opinions or use the #lapetiteboss. You can contact me through my social medias, @AltchiAltchi or via my email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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