Returning home is always a bittersweet experience. It’s great to be near my family, but there are some things about the South I simply didn’t miss. Like black Southerners’ obsession with fair skin, for example. My complexion is a lot darker than it was when I was younger, which I love by the way, but at least once a week I have someone say to me, “You are so dark now! What happened?” Seriously, people? I don’t have to pass any kind of brown paper bag test to get a job or have the right to vote. Can we be a bit more liberated than that?
On the contrary, the fact that I’ve put on a few pounds since I left (okay, maybe more than a few) has everyone elated. Growing up I was always pretty skinny and I was constantly told by family members that I needed to put some meat on my bones. Now that I finally have womanly shape they think I’m gorgeous (you know, except for the dark skin and all.)
Unfortunately, while I love my complexion and can’t understand why others don’t, I’ve been having a hard time being as fond of my new body.
When I left Alabama for California in 2003 I wore a size 4. I could even get into a 2 depending on the designer. Nowadays, I can wear an 8, but my body is most comfortable in a size 10.
My rational self knows there’s nothing wrong with a size 10. I think my friends who are a size 10 or larger are gorgeous and I know the average American woman is a size 14. But I keep looking at the women in magazines and on TV and I keep daydreaming about my college body and I keep feeling fat.
But it’s time to grow up. I have a womanly body and it’s time to get a grown-up attitude to match.
So to celebrate my size 10 here are 10 promises I’m making to myself today.
1. I promise to stop weighing myself every day.
2. I promise to buy cute size 10 clothes that flatter my figure and stop trying to fit in a size 6.
3. I promise to not feel guilty for having dessert.
4. I promise to exercise for the strength of my muscles, not for a six pack.
5. I promise to stop comparing myself to stick thin models.
6. I promise to eat right for the sake of my health not the size of my thighs.
7. I promise to read full-figured model Crystal Renn’s memoir Hungry. (And I’ll blog about it too.)
8. I promise to stop calling myself fat.
9. I promise to believe my husband when he calls me beautiful.
10. I promise to do what I can to make other women (of all sizes) feel beautiful too.