Let’s face it, we’re not all born loving our bodies. It’s something that is learned. Confidence is a process, especially body confidence. I would say I’ve been on a body confidence journey since 7th grade. You’re probably saying, “Omg that is so young” and it is, but that’s where it all started.
I went to Catholic school my whole life and my elementary school went from pre-school to 8th grade, so I was with the same kids the entire time + or – a few. When you’ve known a group of people for so long you become very comfortable.
This journey definitely starts at 7th grade, once puberty was in its peak. Pool parties became more of a thing where the guys in class were actually looking at your body and not just playing tag in the pool with you. I was a very developed kid. I got my period when I was in 5th grade. Yeah, I know gross. I was easily the first girl in the grade for this to happen to. I wasn’t ashamed of it because my mom taught me what to do and I learned how to handle it without being embarrassed in school.
Being developed at such a young age, I learned what body confidence was pretty quickly. Growing up, I was the girl who played basketball and danced. Meaning, I had thick thighs. It’s also a generic thing, my dad and brother have extremely muscular legs and my family is all very widely shaped. This wasn’t such an issue for me though, only during gym class when I couldn’t hide my no thigh gap legs under my skirt anymore.
The summer going into 8th grade was when I really noticed my thicker body. I was so young, but your girl was thick. I had a flat stomach, but I did have legs and a little booty for an 8th grader.
Now let’s talk high school. What a time… High school was interesting to say the least. Once you get there it’s like the boys either grow up or become more immature than they were in 2nd grade. But, anyway, I was friends with the cheerleading group. All gorgeous girls, super fit and skinny, then there’s me.
I knew what the guys thought of me and my body, and I did fall into the trap of having crushes as a young freshman (terrible mistake). I still wasn’t super confident though, because again, I was friends with the skinny girls.
Sophomore year of high school until the second semester of senior year, I had a boyfriend. He brought my confidence level up a lot, which I know isn’t something I should say, but he did. He made me feel beautiful, until he cheated on me with a skinnier version of myself. Way to drop the confidence real low. I began to wonder like anyone else in this situation, what was wrong with me. But, I soon realized it wasn’t me, it was him.
I started to feel better and got my confidence back because in a way I wanted him to see that he’s missing out. Which I know isn’t a healthy way to think, but it helped me.
College – Present:
Fast forward to college and man oh man the confidence is so different especially once you hit 20. I was single my entire time of college, (until now, senior year), which made me thrive. I was working at Victoria’s Secret, I was working out a lot, I chopped my hair off, and I was just accepting the changes and going with the flow.
College is really where my body confidence journey hit peak. I learned things about myself that high school didn’t teach me, I saw my strengths and weaknesses in school, and I saw that not every guy wants the thigh gap girl.
Today, my body confidence is at a new high. I love my body. Yes, I’m on a fitness journey to lose weight, but that’s not because I don’t love my body, it’s because I want to be the healthiest I can be. Of course, I have days just like everyone else, when I absolutely hate my body. It’s normal to have days like that, because when you wake up the next day you’ll feel better always.
My body confidence journey is and always will be ongoing. It’s something that will never go away. As long as I stay true to myself and accept the changes my body will continue to go through, I will have confidence.
Disclaimer: This post is in no way me shaming the females who are naturally skinny and have thigh gaps, or me saying being thick and plus size is bad. I 100% speak by everyBODY is beautiful and everyBODY is a bikini body. This is just me sharing my journey to body confidence and how I’ve dealt with it. Using words like “skinny girl,” and “thigh gap girl” is needed because that’s truly how I felt in elementary and high school. These words create the context and feeling I had during those times.