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Just roll with it


Body image. We all have it. Now how we look at ourselves in the mirror is all very different to each human being. For me (because that's all I have to base any of this on) it has been a journey of love, lust, and pixie dust.


When I was younger, I never really looked in the mirror any certain sort of way. I was blissfully aware of its existence. The only time I ever really acknowledged it was there was when I put on my mothers makeup.


As the years went on and I started to become aware of my own skin, I started to pay attention to what the mirror was telling me. See, others seemed to have something to say about my body hair when I started to grow it. They said it looked gross and unclean. I was told at a very early age that I have a great butt. I was a child. The things my body were doing naturally became a talking point for the people around me in my life.


I was told that men liked long hair and modest women. I was supposed to be the girl they would want when they got all that "other stuff" out of their system. I was supposed to save myself and my image for them.


In an attempt to push my rebellious nature down into the depths of my soul, I wore my hair long. I tried not to paint my nails a dark color. I kept my face made up because I was told that perfection was beautiful. That was acceptable. That would make people like me more. I started to look at myself in the mirror in a different way. I started to pick and pull at these things on my body I never even looked at before.


I was broken up with in high school. The boy who dumped me ended up with another girl who was taller, thinner, and more conventionally attractive than I was. In an attempted to prove my worthiness, I ate MAYBE 600 calories a day and worked out for at least two hours each day. I thought If I was thinner, longer hair and lighter makeup he would want me back.


He did eventually. But I became relient on makeup to make me feel beautiful. I had a toxic relationship with food and exercise. And all the while, I would allow my true self that loved colorful hair and piercings' and all things punky to surface only for a little. Only to tell her to go back into the basement so people would accept us more.


So how am I the way that I am now?


Well, a few things had to happen. I had to make a conscious choice to live with the anxiety of allowing people to see me for who I really was. I forced myself to ditch the makeup to let my skin breath. I only used makeup as a form of artistic expression instead of letting it dictate my self worth. I started learning about skincare to help thank my skin for existing and taking care of me day in and day out.


I started to play dress up in my room late at night. Wearing what made ME feel good. I would add a little bit of those outfits into the ones I was already wearing. Again, allowing the anxiety of "being me" exist to teach myself that it wasn't dangerous. I took time to go to therapy and slowly cultivate a sense of self that wasn't based on what other people thought was beautiful.


I started to eat to fuel my body. I went to the gym to be mentally healthy. It stopped becoming about the physical. It started becoming about nurturing me and everything that makes me up.


I wish I could give you the exact formula for loving yourself. The truth is, we don't have a magical moment of pure unadulterated love. It ebbs and flows. And like anything good, it takes time to cultivate. I still have days that I don't feel the best, but I have put enough tools together to give myself a little extra care in those moments.


REMEMBER: Perfect doesn't exist. It's letters put together to make a word that makes a sound as it's pronounced.


Just be you. It's so much easier than trying to be someone else.


Good Vibeage Always,

Your Cycle Half Stephnaie xxoo

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