The Valadez View

All bodies are good bodies


I grew up hearing my mom and most women in my life speak poorly about their bodies, their intelligence and their whole being in general. I’m not saying it’s their fault for my rather poor body image. Society and internalized sexism are definitely the culprit for their insecurities. But their negative self-worth did impact me.

A few months ago, I had the realization that I wanted to truly live before I died. And now I realize that my perception of my body and my outward appearance is what has kept me from living. Of course it’s easier said than done, but I really want to start believing that my body is a good body.

I’ve always thought that I couldn’t live like everyone else because of my size. I’ve always been surrounded by smaller people who get to dress up in the cutest outfits, find young love (not that I really want or need that) and have so many fun experiences without me. I never thought I could fit in the same boat solely because the world and societal standards are not catered towards my body type.

But this year I’ve just really started to think, “So what?” So what if stores most of my friends shop at don’t carry my jean size? So what if weight limits exist on certain attractions or rides? So what if I am the opposite of what society finds beautiful?

It sounds like I’m pitying myself, but I promise I’m not. I seriously want and need to start loving me for me. I have let my body hold me back when it is the only home on this Earth I will ever truly have.

And in order to flourish, explore my passions and find my people, I have to let my body grow. Whether that means physically, spiritually or really whatever the case may be, I have to give her the nourishment and love that she deserves.

For the rest of 2021, and really the rest of my life, I vow to truly value and cherish this home of mine. This type of self-love progression is not going to be linear, of course. Even now there are days when I wake up, tell myself I am the most confident and beautiful person to exist, even if I don’t believe it, but still can’t bring myself to step outside of my comfort zone.

But that’s OK. In every journey, we have to start small. Believing my body is a good body started with telling myself that I am allowed to eat to enjoy life, not just merely survive. Ensuring that this belief sticks with me will consist of dressing for myself, speaking positive affirmations out loud and letting go of the number on the scale.

The moment we let society tell us who we are or how we are limited in our existence, our confidence dwindles. Our ability to thrive is extremely hindered. A couple hundred years ago, women with similar body types to mine would have been considered beautiful. Now, to put it plainly, if someone isn’t a stick with some curves, they can’t be loved.

But beauty standards change. Our bodies change. At least mine definitely has, especially since I stepped into SHS. And that’s OK. It’s OK to take up space.

I am incredibly grateful that my body has adapted in order to support me, and I will promise to love her unconditionally.