DRAVEN, SHE / HER
I can’t ever remember being comfortable in my own body. But I have made progress. My body hit puberty so early that I took on other people’s views of my body before I could come to terms with it. I still carry that. I was always larger. I was taller. I was more developed, my arms got hairy, everything grew before I could.
I hate getting attention from men. Being a curvy, young black girl meant that I always got attention from the men I didn’t want to pay attention to me. I hated it. I still do. I didn’t get comfortable with my body until I grew tired of hiding it. I was tired of wearing shapewear as a middle schooler and sucking in my stomach as I walked past the mirror. It was like an involuntary response whenever I was in front of a mirror, I couldn’t help but suck my stomach in. I never liked going to the pool or bra shopping or anything that showed more of me than I wanted to.
I get most of my confidence from things that don’t have anything to do with my body. I like that I’m smart, I like that I’m funny, I like that I can make people feel better about themselves. My favorite thing is when I can make someone see what I see in them. I recently learned that I can do the same for myself. Before this project, I don’t think I have shown my arms in like five years. I hate my arms. There are bumps and extra fat and hair and I don’t like them. For some reason I thought my arms always gave away that I was fat? But like my fat gives away that I’m fat??? HELLO?
With this new mindset I decided to order the cutest black dress off of Reformation and show my arms and my neck. I was faking confidence for about the first twenty minutes. I was picking at my dress so much that I littered the studio floor. Eventually I eased into it and realized that it’s okay to feel good. I never wear anything remotely sexy I think because I associated sexiness with negative thoughts. Because sexiness means desirability. I felt that I didn’t deserve to be desired. But...I look good in the dress and that’s a fact.