In Celebration of Body Positivity.....
I have always been considered a big girl. Lord knows I have absolutely no idea what it feels like to be skinny. And I'm ok with that. I mean, can you really miss what you've never had? I didn't grow up in the most supportive household when it comes to weight. On a whole, my family left me alone about it. Coming from a Caribbean background, there was always some aunt or uncle who always felt the need to greet me by my weight "Oh hi Nick, wow look at you, you've gotten so big!" "wow you don't think that you're getting too big??" Oh and my favourite "wow look at you" (then they stretch out their arms wide to indicate how large I've gotten). Perhaps it's because of that why I'm so confident now. I think it taught me to have tough skin. I know my family didn't say these things to intentionally hurt me, but for some reason in the Caribbean, they think it's ok to constantly be blunt about peoples weight. If you were extremely skinny, you'd get the same abuse, trust me. Truthfully I wish I didn't have to learn in such a harsh way, but those were the cards that I was dealt. So I lived with it. I made it my personal mission to get out there, to show the world that it didn't matter what size I was, if there was something that I wanted to do, I'm gonna do it.
Please don't get it twisted. I go through those periods that I struggle with my confidence. Sometimes it takes one douche bag to say something hurtful that will knock my confidence down a few notches. I've learned that I can't control what hurtful things people say. I've learned that it's probably a self esteem issue that they're having themselves that they just wanna project on you. A few years ago, I started a web show. I was tired of not seeing people like me represented in the media, so I created my own opportunity. At first I was excited to get my content out there online for the world to see. But when it got closer to the date of my launch, I developed anxiety. It finally hit me that this will no longer be something that's just mine. It will be international for the world to see. I felt vulnerable. I knew I was opening myself up to peoples praises and criticism. But I launched it anyways. One day, I checked my email. When I opened one particular email, it read "With all the beautiful black woman in Toronto, why did you choose this walrus to be your show host?" I was devastated. I cried for about 2 weeks straight. I was mad at myself for letting this affect me like this, but I'm human and hurtful things hurt me. For someone to take time out of their day to write something so hurtful astounded me. Who does that? And why? Not gonna lie, that knocked me down for a minute. But with the encouragement of some amazing friends, I picked myself up, dusted myself off and kept going. I couldn't allow someone else's perception of who I am, or what I should be doing with my life affect my goals.
My life includes wearing what makes me feel sexy. It includes walking confidently on the beach in my 2 piece swimsuit. I've received many 'You go girl!' by admiring on lookers who are impressed with the way I look and carry myself in my swimsuits along my travels. I'm honoured that they are kind enough to recognize me in a positive way. I also notice the long stares that I get as well. The 'I can't believe she's wearing that" stare. You better believe I'm wearing it! At this point those stares aren't going to stop me . I actually think they fuel me to stand a little taller, and walk a little sexier.
I've skinny dipped in Mexico (always wondered why they call it skinny dipping? hmmmmmmm). I've gone topless in Jamaica (I'm pretty positive that I'm on the internet somewhere because as soon as I took my top off and got comfortable, a tour group rolled by in a boat!!) And you know those jerks took pics....Jerks! I've even gone to a nude beach in St. Maarten. That's right...you read that correctly (Please don't tell my mother!) But why not? Who's gonna stop me? Did I have reservations about going nude? Yes! But sometimes in life you just gotta do it. Sunglasses help because it makes you feel like no one can see you. I also avoid eye contact at all costs. You can't see me and I can't see you. That's just the way we're gonna play it! Ha!
Do I have an hourglass figure? Nope. Do I have back fat? Sure do! Do I have a thigh gap? Hahahhaha....just checking if you're paying attention. Hell nah! Are any of these factors gonna stop me from being awesome? Not today Satan....Not tooooooday!!
At the end of the day, We were all blessed with one body, so rock it! Nobody can be you better than you can. What do you have to lose? But really though. What do you have to lose? Now I'm not telling you to peel off your clothes and jump in the ocean in a strange country. But why not do something fearless? If I can take my clothes off and suntan, and possibly be the star of someone's home movie, what can you do?
Drop it in my comments what you're going to do to throw caution to the wind. It doesn't have to be a huge event, but something you've been scared to actually do. And I want you to just do it!