I have been insecure my entire life. Insecure about my face, the way that I dress and carry myself. Most of all, I would be self-conscious of my weight and body in general. I was always reminded, by family and former friends, about how overweight I am. How wide and thick my limbs are, how round my stomach is, and how “watery” my breast are. Constant reminders ever since I was in middle school. Eight years. It has taken me eight years to feel even an ounce of self-worth, self love.

I would wake up every morning, stand in front of a full length mirror and turn sideways. I would take my right hand and caress my stomach continuously. Then I would suck in as much as possible to see how flat my stomach could actually be. I would make a mental note that that was how skinny I needed to be. That would be perfect. That’s where I needed to be in ordered to be accepted. Accepted by not family and friends, but also society as a whole.

I wish that I could go to the past and hug the 11-year old me; and let her know that she didn’t need the acceptance of others to feel good about herself. All she needed to do to start her journey to self-love was to stop wearing bras. That might sound strange, random and/or silly, but let me explain.

I no longer wear bras. I’ve stopped wearing them for a few months now and quite frankly it was a pretty great decision for myself. Key word: myself. It isn’t to catch the gaze of men on the street, or a major fuck you to society for inflicting these uncomfortable, form-fitting undergarments on people who identify as female. My choice to no longer wear those stupid things, is apart of my journey to find self love and confidence.

It has taken me eight years to feel even an ounce of confident towards myself and my body. I’m starting to enjoy the way that my thighs rub together while I walk. I still stare at myself in the mirror, but now with a smile on my face. I admire my beautiful, natural curves that my ancestors have gifted me, and my G-cup size breasts sag in the most glorious way. No longer wearing bras is the beginning to me reclaiming myself and my body; and shaping how I want myself to look and feel. Not how society thinks I should look.

For centuries society would have the “perfect woman” plastered everywhere. Magazines, billboards, T.V. screens, social media. Before it was a petite female with simply a pretty face. Now being “thick” is the ideal body. Not thick in the way that I am, but Kim Kardashian, Blac Chyna “thick”. A big rack, fat ass but having a small stomach all at the same time. However, there are beautiful plus size advocates and models out there; such as Ashley Graham and this one person I follow on Instagram called ashleighchubbybunny.

I am sick and tired of looking for acceptance from others.I no longer want to be accepted as something that I am not. I don’t want to be anyone else but me. I am not Kim K. I am not Blac Chyna. I am not Ashley Graham. I am not who my grandparents want me to be. I am not who my peers want me to be. I am not Denise. I am not Norman. I am Jasmine Veronica. I am me.

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