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Within the Eye of the Beholder

There's a link in how we accept ourselves & how others see us. One of the first times posting my full body in a picture on social media some precious soul said to me 'Wow you have a lot of self confidence.' They went on to comment on how celebrating ‘fat bodies’ is unhealthy and not appealing. It tore me up inside like crazy for a while because I used to beat myself up & fall into dark moods based on how I looked. I have always been fat, taller than the other girls, gap-toothed, and dark-skinned. Those are not the features that were celebrated as beautiful growing up. Once I was so overcome by it, I reeled with suicidal thoughts and even took steps to see it happen. My battle for self acceptance is long and still a daily personal fight but I continue to work to be the master of my own fate.

Positive body image is powerful. I am grateful for the lessons that helped me find my strength & allowed me to see the beauty in all things (myself included). One of those lessons I learned at my illustrious alma mater, the Lincoln University of Pennsylvania while I served as a student leader ambassador. The lesson was to LIE (Lead, Influence, & Empower). Now this lesson was definitely taught in the context of being a student leader and serving as exemplars for student achievement for incoming classes but let’s be honest. This is a lesson that is super applicable to almost everything else especially as a black woman. Your actions aren't always solely your own. Someone's always watching. And by living your truth and standing in your own power you give others license to do so as well.

It is easier to live behind the curtains with your insecurity where there aren’t a lot of eyes on you. The problem with living life backstage is you never get to show your fully developed character.

Today I'm a body positive advocate. And that advocacy started with self. I learned to love my big arms, thighs, stomach and hips that make my body curve in God’s original design for me. My bulging eyes working hard to see the good in people, my flared nose that fits perfect on my face, my gap-toothed smile that when I laugh it invites you to join in. We're all lights in this world to guide others to look within & see greatness. See beauty in yourself and others will see it too.

When you start to explore your own potential and begin to tap your toe into positive self talk, I swear that's where the magic happens. Look at yourself fully from figure to personality and give each feature the flowers it deserves. Plant those seeds of self love.

What is one thing you would like to celebrate about yourself today? Subscribe, like, and comment below.

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