By: Elisabet Medina
When I was a kid, I believed I was ugly. I was chubby, my nickname to this day is cachito which literally means big cheeks. I had a gap between my two front teeth that was big enough to fit a pencil through. I was dark, I remember being a kid and thinking that I could wash away my brownness. Whenever, I was asked to draw pictures of myself I always drew myself with white skin.
Fast forward through middle and high school, none of the guys I liked ever and I mean ever liked me back. And I can still remember a cheerleader telling me that my a** ran behind me in gym. In college, I basically said f*** it. I chopped off all my hair and read a lot of feminist literature that taught me about the male gaze. I realized that my whole concept of beauty was rooted in Eurocentric standards. When I traveled outside of the U.S. for the first time in my life I got to experience other cultures that saw me as
Over the years, my weight also fluctuated up and down the same 40 pounds over and over again. 2014, I went on a drastic diet where I exercised everyday and did not eat after 4pm. I lost 30 pounds and was at
my lowest weight as an adult. I dated, which interestingly enough landed in relationships with men, who liked to tell me that I should eat a salad, while they ate a burger. It was like an externalization of the voice inside of my head that never called a truce with my body.
And now here I am. To be exact, the place where I am is called beautiful. I have made peace with my thick thighs, the gut that clings to me, the caramel color of my skin and even the stretch marks that are tiny landmarks of my journey. I love dancing, boxing and yoga in that order. I love good food, like
avocados and bacon. I wish I could say that I will never again be at war with my body but I am not 100% sure of that. All I can say is that I am more grateful than ever before for my health and this body that is
so essentially me. And that when I look in the mirror, I love the person staring back at me. I think she was always waiting for me to love her as she is, not for who she could change to be.