I am often asked how did I become such a confident person. I guess I can answer that in many ways. For one I am indeed my father’s daughter when it comes to being naturally extroverted. I’ve always felt comfortable around other people and excelled in social settings as a child. My mother who has always been a constant presence of female beauty and strength undoubtedly shaped my views of self worth and fostered self confidence. I’ve always remembered feeling comfortable in my own skin … until the day that I was harshly reminded that my body was differently shaped than most.
This happened to me when I was 7 years old. I had begged my mother for dance lessons — my latest venture I wanted to take on with full force. After weeks of putting up with my constant nagging my mother finally conceded and signed me up for dance lessons at the local studio. All decked out in my leotard and tutu I remembered being so excited to start dance class with the other girls. When I walked into the room my cheesy naive and optimistic smile was met with whispers and laughter hidden behind small petite hands. The other dancers were well … tiny compared to me and when they looked at my chocolate butterball self donned in dance attire they saw it as a joke. I spent the rest of the dance class trying to keep my head up and refusing to let them see me cry as I tried and unsuccessfully attempted to keep up with the dance routine. You would think I could find some comfort or solace in the eyes of my dance instructor but even she treated me differently — not outrightly discriminating against me but she was just a little less sweet — not as kind to me as she was with the rest of my classmates. I then realized because of my weight and how I looked that I was different and being this kind of different wasn’t a good thing.
When my mother picked my up that day I told her that I don’t think dance was for me. She said exasperated and frustrated that she knew it. But what she didn’t know was that my whole world and confidence had been shaken to the core. Never returning to dance class was one of my biggest regrets because it was the first and last time that I allowed anyone to make me feel as if I wasn’t good enough because of my body. How many kids have a life changing epiphany at age 7? This forced me to give everything I had to anything I did — not letting the way I look deter me from doing something that I really wanted to do. So that meant killing my audition for the role in the school play, or rocking my softball uniform with sass on game days and ultimately dominating collegiate student government by becoming class president. But more importantly its when I go out to dance. I walk. I strut. I tick. I tock. I wobble. I drop it like it’s hot and have the best time doing it. I’m not tiny… but I love to dance and I don’t let my weight become a hindrance. I wish I could tell the 7 year old me that you are good enough and amazing and that there are certain dance moves that you just do way better because of your booty!
With all that being said I have to share that I still struggle internally from time to time with acceptance. I don’t necessarily have an issue with a particular body part but I do have an issue with the idea that someone will not try to get to know the fun, outgoing, charismatic me because they are hung up on how I look or rather how I’m supposed to look. I mean being confident shouldn’t only belong to the thin and pretty. I don’t ever recall anyone asking why my skinny pretty counterparts were so confident. It was something that was obviously natural — an unwritten innate law. But for me being in this body it’s a miracle that I love myself and have self confidence. How does she do it?
This past week I was contacted by the Katie Couric show in NYC to join their studio audience for a taping of a show about body acceptance and loving yourself. They wanted to know what I was insecure about. I was just so excited that they had personally contacted me that I hopped on a plane (thank goodness for frequent flyer miles) and the next thing you know I’m in a green room sharing my insecurity with one of the producers of the show and very soon to Katie Couric and the rest of the studio audience. Talk about pressure. But I’m so glad that I was a part of a show that discusses a topic that is near and dear to my heart. One of the guests of the show was self proclaimed Fat Chic, Jeneatte DePatie — a plus sized certified fitness instructor. She trains for marathons and triathalons and helps people all over the U.S. learn to love themselves and fitness at any size. It was amazing to meet her and get her input on my insecurity. The show is scheduled to air on December 10th on ABC (check your local listings for times. ) I think it’s something that everyone — male or female, thin or thick should watch. Confidence and self worth should not just be characteristics owned by tiny dancers but of chubby ones too…
And wearing a fabulous custom made dress doesn’t hurt either! I’m happy to partner up with eShakti again and this time bring you guys a fabulous giveaway. eShakti is home of affordable custom made 50’s inspired pieces in sizes 0-36! The winner will get to choose a product of their choice and have it customized to fit fabulously! Make sure you check out eShakti’s New Arrivals and like them & Musings of a Curvy Lady on Facebook and follow eShakti (@eShakti) and myself (@IAmTheCurvyLady) on Twitter. This giveaway is only open to residents of the U.S. & Canada and ends December 7th!
Stay Confident &