I met Eileen Carter Campos through Voxxi. We are both bloggers there, and I’ve loved her heart-felt, honest renderings about everything from early breast cancer detection to falling in love. The bonus is that she is a lovely friend– the kind of virtual friend that you want to have in real life. I am honored to share her post, Loving the Inevitable You today:
Growing up around a thin sister all my life was not always easy, but then again it wasn’t too hard. Early on, I was aware that she and I were “different”. Different in the sense that of course she was thin, her complexion was darker. She was blessed with a caramel complexion that would just become a deeper color in the sun, she was the “triguenita” in our family. I, on the other hand, was content with my milkier white complexion and would burn immediately under the sun. A thick lather of SPF was a constant need for me. Even our interests were different, but I was okay with it. It never made me feel inferior, and I was comfortable in my own skin.
As we grew, so did my curves. I developed really quickly; to me, it was as if one day I bloomed. It was obvious I wasn’t a little girl anymore and, in school, the boys were recognizing it. It was not something that I thought about because my mom was quite healthy, as we like to say, and I also had family members who had those same exact curves. Those curves to me signified a sense of strength and beauty. There was never a negative emphasis placed on them and, therefore, I walked in pride.
Negative attention is the reason why many young girls may begin to have a negative sense of self-acceptance. If a person’s weight is a constant topic of discussion or it is looked upon as something “different” then the person begins to look and feel the way that they are being targeted. Of course, as I reached high school, I had boys comment about my curvy gluteus maximus, but I had pride in my body and all that it had to offer. I was convinced that I would find someone who would appreciate me for me. If it didn’t happen how I had hoped, well I knew that I was a beautiful being and my curves had nothing to do with it.
I often overhear girls in conversation and the way that they put themselves down due to their weight breaks my heart. It hurts me to know that they feel as if their curves define who they are, all that they have to offer. Latinas tend to be blessed with a curvier physique; this is inevitable at times. And even if we are not blessed with curves, we must remember that our outer layer does not define the person that we are and the person that we will become. Morals, culture, and traditions are some of the components that are part of our makeup. We are the portrait of our own unique self, and we must begin to embrace it more and realize some things are meant to be this way. Despite the emphasis on “thin beauty”, let’s remind ourselves that beauty is everywhere, not just in the way that we are shaped.
Eileen Carter Campos is the mom of two young boys, a teacher to 23 elementary school children, and a blogger at Voxxi. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY of a Puerto Rican mom and a Queen’s NY dad. She has a Master´s from NYU in Early Childhood Education. She adores teaching, reading and writing. Her absolute joy and what keeps her driven and humble are her kids and her husband and friend of 15 years. Follow her on Twitter.