So, as we close the month of May which is also Mental Health Month, I wanted to talk about something else that we as woman, mothers, wives, SUPER heroes (as we’re sometimes seen) experience…. Self Esteem & Image issues!
I know for me I started to doubt the beauty of my physical appearance when I entered middle school. I literally remember walking into 6th grade orientation where there was a room full of students already and being laughed at by a bunch of girls and boys because I didn’t dress like them. Talk about a way to start school! Sheesh! Middle school was probably one of the worst times in my life. Let me give you some backstory… So, I went to a predominately “white” school where I was a minority. The majority of my friends were white, my family actually used to teased me because I talked “white” or proper according to them. But, I did really well in school and I had a lot of friends, just not a lot of friends that looked like me.
When I transitioned to middle school, the demographic was completely different. There were WAY more kids of other nationalities including African American (which is what I am, if you haven’t noticed already… lol). So, I was a fish out of water. This was not at all what I was used to experiencing. I was teased because I didn’t sound like the other black girls… I was teased because I didn’t dress or wear my hair in more current styles like theirs. I was EVEN teased because I sat completely straight up at the lunch table when other kids preferred to slouch. This practically went on for ALL of my middle school experience.
I remember none of the boys liking me. 1. Because I didn’t look like the other little black girls and 2. Because I didn’t have a body like the other girls. I was what you’d call a STICK…. Lol. Undeveloped, no breasts, no big butt, nothing… I literally remember the boys pointing to poles outside and would be like who does that look like???? KIM!! And start laughing…. And when you combine being skinny with already being awkward because kids thought I acted like a white girl, it was a complete nightmare.
I remember even family friends used to tease me. They’d pick up two drinking straws and say that’s how skinny my legs were. One time they even threw some straws out of a car on a group trip and said they were throwing me out the car… Talk about cruel. I’m sure they were just poking fun but, kids are impressionable. Especially middle school kids.
In turn, I had like no self confidence at this point. So much so, I allowed kids to bully me, take my lunch money, and any other stuff I might’ve had that could be of value. I was so afraid to say or do anything in retaliation and I felt so low. I never really talked about it with family, I just kinda lived through it. I became ok with being invisible to everyone else because if I was invisible at least no one would bother me. I graduated middle school feeling like a “nobody” and unattractive. So, I could honestly tell you I wasn’t looking forward to high school if it was going to be anything like what I had just left.
To my surprise, high school was completely different! I wasn’t ever Prom Queen but, I was accepted and a few boys found me to be cute so, I felt a little bit better about myself… Lol. I ended up doing cheerleading and dance, which helped to get my out of my shell. I also, had a different circle of influence because most of my classes were honors or gifted and talented so, I made friends in those classes and they seemed to be able to relate to me more.
But, I can say that even as an adult I still struggle with my self esteem. I don’t always feel like I’m the “prettiest girl in the room”. I have a mom bod now… Lol and hey it comes with the territory…. Every now and then I can feel myself slide into the slump of the 6th Grade Kim, where I’m just not too sure of me… In those moments I have to remind myself that there’s only one me… I’m not perfect but, who is? But, today, I am loved and accepted for who I am and that’s enough for me…. And eventually I’ll get back on my treadmill so, I can be a MILF but, today I’m okay with my muffin top… Lol
What’s the lesson for this blog? Sometimes it pays to be nice to others. Compliment another woman if you like her shoes or her bag…. You never know, that might’ve been just what she needed to smile.
Peace, Love & Light….