In a society that praises thin, you have to wonder: is there a magic size or weight that gains you entrance in the hallowed club of beautiful and if so, what is it? In thinking of this, I think of this quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “This above all: to thine own self be true.”
Now what does this really mean? How can one be able to be true to himself/herself? My interpretation of that quote would be to embrace what makes me ME. I have a quirky, off-beat sense of humor that can be a little dead-pan and biting. I use humor, wit, and sometimes sarcasm to make up for what I feel are my shortcomings, especially my biggest one, my weight. I’ve been many sizes over the years and have had different views of myself at those sizes. When I was a size 6, I felt flirty; I was more likely to buy short skirts to show off my legs and felt powerful and sexy. When I was a size 8, I felt a little more womanly, I had more curves and got a lot of attention on two specific areas: my chest and my butt. Now, let me tell you, I felt conflicted about how exactly to feel about the extra attention on these areas. For one thing, I’m a black female; I don’t want a big butt, a nice firm curve is great, but a big bubble butt is something I’ve never wanted. Secondly, I’m a black female with female family members who tend to have large chests; I thank God daily that I missed the hereditary butt; however, I didn’t escape my family genetics scott-free, I got the family breasts. I’m a 25-year-old female with no kids and natural size 38D breasts. I will admit that I’m not necessarily complaining about having my assets appreciated, but I’m not blind or deaf to the common conception that a woman who might be no more than a size 6 with my breast size tends to be more the ideal.
I have seen in my journey to MY ideal beautiful size that what I see in the mirror does weight heavily my decision on who I’ll consider dating as well as the clothes I buy. When I’m at my “skinny weight”, I tend to lean more towards the cocky bad boys who were made for quick flings. When I got more curvy, I tended to lean more towards the “nice guys” who were made for long-term relationships in which I felt secure in the knowledge that in their eyes, I was always beautiful even if I wasn’t model skinny. When it came to my clothing, I would dress more girly when I was “thin”, but when I was “fat”, I did the cardinal sin of “big girl fashion” and dressed to hide the lumps with baggy clothes and essentially dressed like I hated my body rather than make the best of how I was in that present moment and give myself the courage and honesty to work my way to a size and body I could love and felt that “yes, this is the true me”.
A few months ago, I got to my heaviest weight ever and was a solid size 12. Now at 5’10, this wasn’t a complete and utter travesty; but when I stood in front of the mirror with my naked body staring back at me, I realized that I had let things go too far and I didn’t feel beautiful anymore. In the past couple of months, I’ve lost nearly 30 pounds and have started to see the “old me”, the me that wanted to stand out and be fearless in how I presented myself. And let me tell you, it felt damn good. I realized that part of my decision-making process in concern with who I chose to date had less to do with certain winning attributes and more with those that wouldn’t make me feel fat because to society, they like myself were less than perfect physically and in the eyes of that same society, I was “the hot one” in the relationship. Sad, but honest and that is what I have based my blog on and my new journey in life, honesty.
So in answer to the title question, the size that is beautiful isn’t what society tells you is beautiful; it is the point at which you know without a doubt that you are being true to yourself. Don’t be a follower of the “should be”, be your own leader and step out of the shadows and embrace the true you.