I grew up in Whiteville. White houses, white sidewalks, white action figures, white plates, white movie stars, white sheets, white dolls. This was way before they had all those spicy ethnic dolls and it made me feel like my world was white every fricken thang. Everywhere I turned everything was pretty much white here in Whiteville. It’s just the way it was back then when I was growing up.
What I didn’t know was this was the beginning of my body shaming. Tiny lil Trinidad couldn’t grasp why everything was white and nothing was brown. My dad came from an era where he witnessed and felt discrimination for being a minority. My dad is now in a better place and he’s reconciling this fear that society had placed inside his soul and he’s learning to see the love and not the fear. But throughout my childhood his fears continued to be expressed which made my fears all the more true. I started to be paranoid when people would look at me the wrong way or make funny faces at me. I assumed they did this because of my skin color. This led me to believe, as a young girl, that brown was ugly. Brown was bad. The only things that are brown are dogs, dirt, and poop. And if you’re poop, well you might as well hate yourself. So began the journey of body shaming because I was born with the wrong skin color.
Next Chapter in my life: Hate Self for body features
This includes big ears that get flicked and called dumbo, bowlegged legs people laugh and make fun of, height because being small meant getting shoved into trash cans and lockers, face because mean little girls say you look like a boy, lip hair because popular boys make fun of you in the cafeteria because you’re a girl who has mustache hair and well that just means that what that mean little girl was saying was true – that you do look like a boy – so maybe you should just add being a girl to the list while you’re at it and then you can just cross out all the above and write ‘hate you’ because you should have never been born to a cruel world. But you were born so just cross out your existence because you pretty much fit into the category of ‘you suck!’
Oh wow. I needed to take a breath for a moment because I had some serious flashbacks of why I had problematic issues later on in life.
Next Chapter: Tell the Haters ‘FUCK YOU!’
I’ve become a teenager who has learned to love all those features I used to hate about myself. Everyone who had made fun of me watched me grow up and realized, “Damn, those ears, bowlegged legs, face, lip hair, and lets not forget that natural tan—damn Gina…you is fine!” Lol.
It’s funny how the things you get picked on slowly become some of your greatest assets.
But for realzy and in all actuality this is what happened to me. I grew up and all those things I hated became features that were worthy to be adored. Guys wanted to date me who had previously picked on me and secretly in my mind I thought “you can touch this. Oh-oh oh oh oh-oh-oh. You can’t touch this. Oh-oh oh oh oh-oh-oh.”
Fast forward to present day: Grown woman who hates her body
Whoa. Hold up. Wait a minute.
Did you just skip a chapter or go in reverse because this lady is over her body shaming. That all ended in high school. So what the heck are you talking about?
Oh you know the grown woman who can’t seem to get her ass out of bed and do a workout. You know the one who eats all that crap—mostly sugar in the form of cookies and chocolate and all those carbs—yeah that one. The one who has no self-control and then gets mad at herself for having a little belly that pops out over her jeans. She’s the one. She’s the culprit.
She’s the one that hates her body because she’s not picture perfect like all the magazines, movie stars, fitness and yoga hawties. That one.
Yup. And that’s when things had to get real.
The moment I started body shaming myself as an adult was the moment that I opened pandoras box to my old body shaming voices and patterns.
They all came back like a bat out of hell. No rhyme. No reason. It was all body shame. The voices rushed in and they knew all to well how to make me squirm. They were straight up evil. Moooooohahahahahahahahaha—yeah just like that evil laugh—straight up sinister.
I didn’t even realize what I was doing. Shoot, I didn’t even know the true meaning of body shaming until I started writing about it. I had heard about it, but I was in denial that I was doing it to myself. I had accepted the hateful voices in my head so much that it seemed like it was part of my daily thought life.
I had no idea how harsh I was being to myself. I was completely oblivious.
If you’re still with me…I applaud you because I’m sure most people would click off of this blog because I’m not giving you that instant answer on how to stop all the body shaming thoughts and voices. But then again, I’m guessing you’re still reading this because it rings a bell.
Ring my belllll-el-el-el, rings your bell. Right? Right.
Here’s what happened.
I thought I was over my body shaming and for a time yes I was. But really I was never done with my body shaming. Even though I accepted my skin color and I had come to a place where I thought it was sexy I was still playing background thoughts that went something like this:
“Oh she doesn’t like you because you’re brown.”
“Oh the truth is, they probably don’t like brown people.”
“I hate when my skin gets this dark.”
“I bet if I was white, he’d like me more.”
Now do this same thing with the thought life, but with all the body parts I had said that I had finally accepted. In the back of my mind I was still hating on myself even though I openly expressed that I accepted myself. The truth was I never truly accepted those things about myself because my subconscious was playing what I really thought about myself.
This is when I realized that I had an inner bully that constantly tore me down and made me feel like the ugliest person alive.
And that’s when I had to look myself square in the mirror and ask, “Who the fuck Am I? And who the hell is this bully I created within myself? Who is she? Where did she come from? And how the FUCK do I get rid of her?!?!?”
I wish I could tell you a pretty honky dory story wrapped in butterflies, but the truth is it wasn’t pretty. I had become my own worst enemy.
To be Continued…