How do you start something that has the power to change your life? To change other people’s lives? If it’s like anything else worth doing in life you close your eyes, say a prayer and jump into the unknown, hoping you’ll learn to fly or at least find a soft spot for landing.
This body positivity space has been a long time in the making. I’ve been thinking about it every day for over a year, been trying to figure out the right time, the message I’m trying to convey, the right platform, but now I can’t wait any longer. So here I am, ready to share with you all the things I’ve learned (and am still learning) about body positivity, self-love, self-esteem, confidence and how they’ve changed my life. Sharing these things is hard. Harder than publishing my very erotic first novel, harder than giving birth, harder than anything I’ve ever done before, because it means writing about things I’ve probably never told another soul. Opening up and talking about self-hatred, the horrible things I’ve done to my body in the name of being “skinny” and all the feelings of worthlessness I’ve harbored over the years.
I’m not doing to it earn your sympathy or to make all the people who ever bullied me feel bad, I’m doing it because if I can help even one little girl realize that she is beautiful and perfect just the way she is, if I can keep one person from hating themselves the way I did, if I can show one well-meaning family member that their comments are hurtful and harmful then this will be a success.
You might be thinking, who is this girl? What does she know about anything? I’m glad you asked. I’m Paige and other than being born at 6 pounds 5 ounces (six weeks early I might add) I’ve been big my whole life. In elementary school I towered over everyone in my class, it wasn’t until well into high school when I was no longer the tallest person my age. But I wasn’t just tall. I hate to say this word but I was always “fat”. My earliest memory of knowing that I was different and that different wasn’t a good thing was in first grade after we all got measured and weighed (I couldn’t tell you why we got measured and weighed, but all I know is it happened every year) and we all shared how much we weighed. I was 81 pounds. Yes, as a seven-year-old I weighed 81 pounds.
Before I go down a rabbit hole of memories, and this post ends up being 10,000 words, I’ll just say I’ve struggled with body image, self-esteem and confidence the vast majority of my life. Struggle doesn’t quite seem like the right word, it’s bigger than that. At times, my desire to be smaller has been all consuming, the hatred I felt toward my body was a black hole dimming everything in its path; it’s been more than a struggle, it has been a war. But I’m happy to report, after nearly 30 years of battling myself, I’ve finally found some inner peace, finally learned to love and appreciate my body as it is right now, and I can’t tell you how much happier it has made me.
That’s why I’m here, to share my stories in the hopes of inspiring others to love themselves, to stop shaming each other for the way we look, to embrace our bodies and individual beauty as they are right now. I can’t wait for you to join me on this journey.