I am a young African-American woman who is overweight. I live in a society where black is not considered beautiful and overweight is considered a crown of shame and embarrassment. I always wanted to be seen as beautiful and desirable. I wanted to be loved by all. I was always giving my best so I could be viewed in this way.
When I was younger, I was the pretty petite girl with long beautiful hair. However, I was very sickly and needed surgery to help me with my condition. I went through surgery in the 3rd grade and was given a stabilizing medicine that contained large amounts of steroids. I lost the majority of my hair and gained 50 pounds in a year. My image had depleted in my eyes. The once beautiful girl I seen in the mirror was no longer there.
When I got to middle school and even high school I was still being teased about my size. It made me feel ugly and very uncomfortable. I didn’t like myself and couldn’t imagine someone who would.
Now, twelve years later I see that beautiful woman staring back at me in the mirror. It wasn’t until I got to college that I realized that it was there all along. I know what you are thinking! She has lost the weight and her hair is long again, but it’s not. I had to mentally reconstruct my thoughts about who I was. Instead of focusing on what I didn’t have, I focused on what I did have. I gave more energy to my strengths and abilities, and spent less time worrying about things that were superficial.
I am full figured, educated, and motivated young woman; and most important, confident in knowing that I am beautiful. In a society that shuns diversity in size, shapes, and colors I redefined my mind. Contrary to how society views me, I am beautiful and desirable. This I believe!
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