Yes, it’s my body, and your image is not my body image. Body shammers need to wrap that around their heads. I’ll repeat it. What you see in my body is your perception – your representation of my body. It is my body and what you see is not my reality. If you continuously hear the same negative things, it’ll get to a point where it hurts so much. As women, we often hear positive and negative comments about our bodies. Sometimes, you just want to push someone’s face on a wall because they seem not to know how to speak correctly.
For those of you whom I have never met and do not know me, I am an extremely petite woman – hence my Instagram handle, petite brunette. I have always been. I have been tiny since birth. As I grew into my body from elementary school and up, I began to develop a complex due to my tiny frame. I constantly heard people tell me how skinny I was. Here is a list of everuything I have ever heard about my body:
- “Did you eat?”
- “Are you hungry?”
- “You look like you need a burger!”
- “Why are you so skinny?”
- “You don’t eat a lot, right?”
- “That’s why you are so skinny. You don’t eat.”
- “Is that all you’re going to eat?”
- “Why are you working out? You don’t need to.”
- “You can’t afford to lose any weight.”
- “You anorexic b**ch!”
No! I am not anorexic. I certainly don’t starve myself. In fact, I eat multiple times a day. I don’t do any calorie couningt. I eat whatever I want when I want. I don’t restrict myself when it comes to eating. How should a person feel hearing things like that? I never understood why my body affects others. I am just naturally thin with a flat athletic looking stomach which I inherited from my parents. My mom is thick and short. In contrast, my dad is tall and thin. I am a mixture of both of them. Growing up, I had the hardest time trying to understand why I hadn’t inherited my mom’s curvy body type. Just imagine a traditional body type for a Latin woman. Exactly… Chances are, you imagined a thick curvy goddess. That was hard to internalize. I often thought I didn’t embody a Latina because I am not as curvy. Don’t get me wrong, but I do have curves but my curves go with my small frame. No, I don’t have hips that lie like Shakira but I have a little something-something.
Let’s not even get into my experience shopping for clothes. I am not sure why retailers carry a limited supply of petite sizes in store. Whenever I ask for more the sales associate says “You can try online.” Why are our choices so limited? Petite woman actually exist in real life. I have a terrible time at certain stores when trying on jeans. Some retailers have jeans that are oversized. In some places a size 1 is huge and while in others a size 1 is perfect. I tend to stick to H&M, Zara and Gap for jeans because they flatter my body. The jeans in those stores actually have small, which I enjoy. When shopping for going out body-con dresses, I second guess if I should purchase because the model pictured is ‘thick’. I often worry if the dress will fit how I want it to fit. I typically shop online to find smaller sizes than going to a store and being disappointed. I also hate going into fitting rooms and trying clothes on that weren’t designed for my body type. It is often annoying to waste time trying on clothes.
Middle school was tough for me. My closest friends and peers were always ‘thicker’ than me. They had a fully developed front and back. I was always the friend with the small boobs and the small booty. During that age ,I watched boys make passes at the girls that were “blessed”. As I got older I realized middle school boys are pretty shallow. They always chose the girls who had the biggest boobs and booty. I got used to just blending in and not being noticed by my peers. In high school, I grew to become extremely irritated by skinny comments. I began correcting ignorance. “I am petite not skinny. I am thin and short, and that makes me petite. This one boy said, “You’re so skinny.” I replied, “If you wouldn’t tell an overweight person that they’re so fat, then don’t say that to me. That’s rude.” He had nothing else to say. Just because you’re changing the word fat for skinny, it doesn’t make a difference. It is still rude and it is none of your business whether I’m skin and bones or skin and rolls. As an adult I have become so much more comfortable with my size. It doesn’t matter how big or small a woman may be. We can still be self-conscious about our bodies. Some woman believe thinner woman shouldn’t have any because they’re thin. Just because we’re tiny, it doesn’t exempt us from being self-conscious.
After fighting my insecurities, I became more comfortable with my body. I often revert back to my old ways of nitpicking my flaws. The more I learn about being a woman, the more I understand that it is ok to have negative thoughts just as long as I can stop myself and turn it into a positive note. Life is about learning. I am open to learning. I am open to learning to love my body and the way it is. I am learning to look in the mirror with loving eyes. I am learning to look in the mirror with healing eyes. Yes, healing…. Healing is a large part of being comfortable in your own skin. I must heal my insecurities and heal from all the harsh things I have been told about my body. I must let go and grow! Now, I understand that the only opinion that matters are my own. It is my body, and I spend the most time with it. I am the only one that should get a say about my body.
As a teen, I used to hope for the day I could get implants. While I was in college, I began researching doctors that could make my dreams come true until I realized that I don’t want the headache that comes with implants. I have read so many stories of woman getting explant procedures. Hearing those stories made me appreciate my natural breast. I am lucky to have them. I should be grateful that I have a pair that are healthy and cancer free. Health comes before vanity!
I recently gained a few pounds and I am elated. I had tried for years but was unsuccessful. A lot of my jeans from high school that I saved fit like a glove now. You don’t know how amazing that feels. I am open to gaining a few more pounds but wouldn’t want to completely lose my small frame. After years of dreading it, I love it now. I am great at hide and seek, I fit anywhere.
What’s your body type? How have you been shammed?
Sasha is a spiritually driven writer, poet, warrior, and feminist. Sasha’s poems showcase heartbreak, love, light, hope, and femininity. She has vowed to light up the world with her words and embody a lighthouse for women. In 2019, she created the blog ‘Polish The Soul’ and adopted the pen name ‘SGC’. Follow her journey on Instagram (@polishthesoul) and her blog (www.polishthesoul.net). She’s just a Latina from New York City trying to pave a way for women like herself through a city like no other.