I believe that other’s acceptance of you, comes when you first learn to accept yourself. All throughout my life I have had a problem with accepting the fact that I am tall and skinny. It was one thing for me to deal with the skinny part, but it was another to be tall, which is what I mainly had a problem with. Imagine everyday having to hear someone criticize you multiple time saying, “dang you are tall” or “do you play basketball?” Imagine being taller than the boy or girl that you like and taller than all of your friends. I was the one who stood out while others would make fun and calls me names such as a stick and say cruel things like, “you need some chicken.” That was the time in my life when I began hating the size of my body. I did not want to be skinny anymore. I began to let the people around me determine the way I felt about myself, which hurt me mentally more than anything. They did not like me skinny so I did not want to be skinny. They did not like me tall, and I did not like me tall. I eventually got the mind setting that I was an ugly girl.
Sitting at home one day a show came on called America’s Next Top Model. While watching all of the girls who came to try-out to be a model, I quickly noticed how tall and skinny they were. They were all girls who resembled me and everyone thought they were all beautiful young women. They were using the fact that they were tall and skinny to their ability. Instead of complaining about the way they looked, they used their looks to their advantage of becoming a top model. After seeing the girls for myself I expressed to my mother my desire to become a model. When Christmas came around my mother surprised me with a photo shoot session with a photographer to take pictures. I went and was able to take professional pictures and distributed them to different modeling agencies. The show inspired me to accept myself and use the fact that I am tall and skinny to my best ability.
Since that Christmas I have learned to accept me for me. After modeling I still heard comments like, “why are you so skinny” and “you look like a giraffe”, but I choose not to let them get to me. Instead I chose to stand up and tell them that I am a pretty giraffe and say, “why not be skinny?” This certainly boosted me mentally and physically. Now I walk with my head held high in confidence, instead of walking with my head held down. Their words cannot hurt or change the way I feel about myself anymore. Today, I hear fewer comments on me being tall and skinny and more comments on how pretty I am. I have accepted myself and so have the others around me.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.