Have you ever stared at yourself in the mirror and dreaded everything you saw? You’re eyes never matched completely. You have scars, pimples, and marks on your skin you find awful. You’re body isn’t tight and curvy like those girls prancing in swim suits in music videos on T.V. I felt this way about myself for 22 years.
I would stare at myself naked for hours, trying to morph and bend my body in a way to find my perfect angles, yet, my butt was never big enough, my boobs were non-existent– “mosquito bites” as one friend in high school called them. Persistent thoughts told me how ugly I was, and how flat my body was with no depth.
My mother consistently told me, “Cydi, your boobs are so small, how could a man ever love you?”
My cousin said, “Cydi you have the perfect hour glass body. Only if your boobs were bigger.”
“At least you have a booty!”
“Wow, you’re so skinny….”
“Wow you really have no boobs.”
“You’re so hairy.”
“You look like a man.”
These messages defined me as a young girl. When others complimented me positively, I stopped believing it.
I never felt comfortable in my body, in my skin, in my own presence. I lied. I did feel comfortable in my skin once upon a time as a child when my body wasn’t developed yet. There was no shame to be naked. No shame or lust around showing my innocent body. But as I grew to be this “girl” with a body I should always hide, I began to drag this body.
I always based my looks on what others thought was beautiful. I always had to ask someone else for confirmation whether I looked good in a dress or not. Honestly, I hated wearing dresses. I felt un-like me. I felt like someone else when I was in a dress. There was always something about open bottoms that made me uncomfortable. How can I spread my legs and be comfortable without looking like a slut?
As a child, I walked around completely naked with only an underwear on, up until I was 8 years old. Even when my sister’s then boyfriend (now husband) came to visit, I never cared. I strutted in my little purple flower briefs as comfortable as ever. But, when my breasts formed, what my grandma called “seeds”, they felt more tender than usual, and my brief days were over. Yet, I still hated wearing clothes; the less the better. It was the freedom to allow my body to breathe, to allow my body to be free, and to show my body I am never ashamed of her.
Feeling so awkward in my own skin, I never fully owned my body; I never fully allowed myself to embrace my body. I always thought my body looked weird, deformed and skinny. Who could really love someone as hideous as me? Thoughts like that filled my mind every time I stared into the mirror, and every time I took photos. The bags under my eyes would horrify me, and my bumpy nose stopped me from taking any profile shots. My mole on my arm was a hassle, because people always asked me if that was a bug. NO it’s my GODDAMM MOLE. I was an anxious child. I hated when people put me on the spot or pointed out my imperfections. I would get super embarrassed. Man I thought I was ugly.
I thought I was so ugly, I always told myself “Okay Cydi, you’re not the prettiest looking girl, so you always have to make sure you have a good heart.” So, I guess I’m actually glad I thought I was ugly, because I focused on my character and what my heart held. I always focused on what I could offer on the inside. I knew that looks could only take me so far, becuase I truly thought I was “ugly.” Yet, I didn’t know I was beautiful all along, inside and out.
To Be Continued —
❤ Wabi Sabi
Follow me on