Sunday, 28 October 2012

On the subject of waists

Hiya, folks!
So, I got news for y'all: I have a 24-inch waist. I always read it in modeling websites and diet magazines (yeah, those where you can practically taste the body-shaming through the pages) that this is the perfect waist measurement. Not too big, not too small, just right. I must admit I find it my best feature. Maybe the magazines are right about that. But that's not all they say. They promised me much more.

They promised me my 24-inch waist would give me success. They promised me it would give me an advantage in school, in getting a job, in becoming a professionally fulfilled person. They said it would make me beautiful, and making me beautiful would open all kinds of doors to me, doors that I never imagined would be open. They told me my 24-inch waist would make it so I never went by unnoticed, so that every time I walked into a room, all eyes would be on me. They said I would be everything I always wanted to be.
They said having a 24-inch waist would give me lots of friends, lots of men, a full social life with always a place to go on Saturday night and I would never be alone. I was lucky enough to have Italian and Portuguese blood running in my veins so that I'm curvy and my measurement is natural, but if it's not the same for you, fear not! They also promised a solution. They offered you crash diets, exhausting exercise routines, habit changes, little things that slowly and lingeringly would kill everything that made you unique and fit you into a mold they think every woman should fit.

But here's a piece of groundbreaking information: You know which one of those promises were true? None. You know where my waist got me in life? Nowhere. You know what you're missing for having another waist measurement? Nothing. Saying that a certain body type, a certain measurement, a certain physical feature makes any difference in one's personal happiness is a lie that people everywhere have been believing for years. I don't blame you for believing it, I used to believe it too. My mom believed it in the seventies, when she wore that tragic hairdo thinking she'd be the most popular girl in school and turns out she wasn't. My grandma believed it in the fifties, when she pulled on that girdle just a little tighter thinking she would catch the attention of that cute fella she'd been eyeing. Needless to say she didn't. I believed it for years, since I was a little girl. And everything that went wrong in my life, I attributed to my physical appearance.

A fellow Italian and 24-inch-waister Sophia Loren
Lemme tell ya, it wasn't her waist that got her that Oscar
You know what does make a difference in your life? Believing that lie. I, thankfully, consider myself a fulfilled person who's had a good life for the past eighteen years. I have absolutely wonderful parents and a sister that I love, very nice friends, I've accomplished everything I've ever wanted with school, I got into medicine at 17 and I've been able to enjoy all the interests I've had. My physical appearance played no role whatsoever in any of this, but if I turn on the TV, they'll tell you just the contrary. But, all that I accomplished, all I've ever done in life, I did it believing in myself, believing in my abilities, believing in my preparation. Not once did I question my worth, not once did I ask myself "Am I deserving of this?". Because in those times when I was unsure, I ended up being incapable of doing half what I could do if I was all fired up like before. Remember that guy who said "what we think, we become"? (Buddha, was it?) Yeah, he was right.

We all need confidence in life. We all need to know we are capable, we are worth it, we can do it. And, trust me, you can. You are. You deserve. You made an effort toward it, it's only fair you get it! Believe in it. Believe in yourself and the infinite power you have within you. Stop believing that lie that you have to look or be a certain way to get what you want. When you do that, things will come a lot easier. You'll see them coming. You won't be surprised. "I knew I could do it", you'll say. It's not arrogance. It's not vanity. It's confidence.

I've struggled with my self-confidence myself. I think, living in this day and age, we all do at one point or another. And one day, I remember I was not feeling well at all about myself and I commented it over the internet with one of my best friends. He said nothing. He only sent me the link to a Youtube video. This song makes me cry every time I hear it because it reminds me of what a beautiful declaration of love and support from my friend that was. He loved me (and loves me!) not because of my waist, not because of my appearance, but because of who I am. And that, I'm glad to say, will never change.

This was the song he sent me. It's not exactly my kind of music, but the lyrics are very valuable to anyone:

Don't believe what other people say about you. They don't know you better than you know yourself.

So, pick up those magazines, those websites, those commercials, those people, those negative thoughts in your head and say hit the road Jack, and don't you come back no more.



  1. After reading this I had to measure my waist: 26 inches. I remember, several years ago, measuring it after a TV show that talked about health and my mom getting mad at me because we had the same waist measure (now mine is much less).
    I always knew that my looks would never take me anywhere (not that I'm monstruous), but only my brians would do that.
    I hope more songs like Aguilera's, more TV shows and other campaigns can convince young people that they're beautiful the way they are.
    Good luck with this new blog!

    1. Right? This is so important!
      Thank you a lot! And btw, I've seen a photo of you and you're certainly not monstruous :)