Growing up "Thick"

I am a 32 year old mother of 3 which one I birthed. My body has changed tremendously since then. I am currently struggling with weight loss, my breast are a D but damn near flat without he correct bra. My thighs rub together when I walk and I only run when something’s chasing me. At this point in my life I can proudly say that I am not happy with my body. It’s understandable and the things I’m low key complaining about right now can all be fixed or changed with some determination sprinkled with motivation.

Now let’s rewind back to when I was about 12 or 13 and your girl hit puberty. HARD! I didn’t notice any changes in my body because in my eyes when I looked into the mirror, I was still the same skinny, lanky chocolate girl that people made fun of through majority of my grade school years. I honestly didn’t notice I had hips until my 1st year of High School. I remember class starting and I was seated and the teacher walked in. He asked each student to stand and introduce themselves. I was already nervous because public speaking was not my thing back then like it is now. When my turn came around, I stood up and I heard a few ‘Damns” and giggles. I looked at my teacher, who will remain nameless but was a man, and he just stood there with a shocked look on face. No one prepared them for this bottom heavy 9th grader who didn’t even realize anything was wrong with her body, yet.

It seems like right after that moment the elephant in the room was my hips and butt. After that day I felt everyone noticing me and I hated it. That’s not the type of attention I was trying to attract. Too bad because where ever I went, it followed. The more I developed the more those shocked and amused looks turned into shameful ones. Those shameful looks turned into shameful words and I got a lot of it from older black women. I was called “fast”, “promiscuous” I was told I was “too hot in the tail” and any other version of “You look too mature for your age”. I was going through so much change internally and externally it all got the best of me most days. How am I supposed to change what I can’t even control. My mom had (and still has) wide hips and a big butt but her remedy was just to wear over sized pants and long shirts. I couldn’t even get a pair of the coveted Parasuco or Princess stretch jeans that were so popular back then because I would be a distraction.

Now that I’m older I still have my moment where I’ll rethink an outfit because the way it drapes my curves and would someone be offended. I carried those insecurities around with me for a long time and I no longer want to withhold my freedom of expressing myself through fashion. I wouldn’t want any other young girl to be body shamed as I did as she is thrown into a confusing and hella extra emotional time in her life.

Even though I am a mother of 3 boys I am a woman first who once was that girl. Here are a few tips I can give parents to make life a little easier what talking to their growing young ladies.

  1. Ask you daughter how does she feel about the physical change with her body. If you ask, you wont have to guess what she’s feeling.

  2. Assure her that she is normal and there is absolutely nothing wrong with how she is developing

  3. Get and idea about what type of clothes she likes to wear. Instead of throwing her in oversized closed or try hiring a stylist

  4. Take her to get her measured. Places like Macy’s and Nordstrom does professional measuring so you know that exact size of clothes needed.

  5. Never make her feel less than by throwing her development in her face. Those words will cut deep and the wounds will follow her around for a while

  6. Encourage her to embrace her size. Being confident as a growing woman starts with-in and your help may be necessary.