Many people have always assumed that my modest dressing was because of my Faith, but this is partially true. And although I am an advocate for modesty this does not fully contribute to my modest style. You see when you’ve had a lot of surgeries like me you don’t just come out of the operating room with stories, but you come out with scars too and I have lots of them.
To be frank, this is the first time I’ve publicly written about this topic. You know the topic of body image. For me, body image never had to do with the fact that I was thin or short, overweight or even my complexion. For me, my body image battles stemmed from the literal images/ scars on my body. It wasn’t that I thought my scars were ugly, I just didn’t know how other people would receive them. And I wasn’t really open to sharing them with the rest of the world either. I have been told in the past that I had an “ideal” body shape, a figure to die for, but to be honest I never cared about my so-called shape because I thought “ who would want to see my body with all the scars on it.”
When it came to dressing up, specifically in a bathing suit, I never cared for it. Matter of fact I dreaded swimsuit season because it seemed like I was the only 13 years old forced to wear a one piece bathing suite. I remember growing up and seeing the other girls at the going shopping for swimsuits and it seemed as if they had their pick of swimsuits to wear. Never ever having the care of having something to cover or hide. But for me, no my selling point was tad different. I wasn’t just sold on a bathing suit because of the pretty color. No, my selling point in landing a bathing suit was based on if it had maximum coverage. Yes, this suite is cute but is it long enough, big enough. Can it hide as much skin as possible...does it come with a matching skirt or cover?
When it came to going swimming or hanging out at the pool I would be so worried of other people looking at me or the fear of my cover riding up exposing my scars or feeding tube that sometimes I felt like I couldn’t swim freely- not in public at least. When it came to swimsuit shopping, I avoided it unless it was absolutely necessary. I think for a good six years I didn’t step a single foot into a pool. But, somehow this year was different, something inside of me was changing. This year I wanted to go swimming I wanted to step into the water, I wanted to put a swimsuit on.
When I found out that I was going on vacation with my family to Mexico I got excited! It was the perfect excuse to look for a new bathing suit. Consciously I told myself and my friends that the one-piece suit was back in style so I didn’t have to be in fear in looking like an old lady at the beach. Hence I could confidently wear a bathing suit. But you know what, I think the initial answer I gave people wasn’t authentic. Because there was a deeper on inside of me. I realized that my excitement in getting a new bathing suit had less to do with style and more to do with me becoming more comfortable in my own skin. Who would’ve thought after all the years in waddling in bathing suit shame, hesitating to get in the water; I was now ready to step out and GET IN!