Personal Milestones

There were two monumental moments in my life that caused such a drastic change, where I had to readjust my perspective. I had to adopt a new acceptance of body image. Both events resulted in changes that I so desperately wanted, but that sense of want didn’t make the journey any easier.

For starters, when I was in grade 9, I cut my hair extremely short. Truthfully, I never had long hair. The longest it had been was about armpit-length. But after the haircut, my hair was chin-length. I remember sitting in grade 9 Art and keeping my head down low so that my face wasn’t easily visible. I felt so exposed, and I realized for the first time, that I used my hair as a security blanket. I no longer had a curtain to hide behind, and for the first time, I encouragingly forced myself out of my comfort zone.

The next monumental change happened in my first year of university. I started to lessen my worry on showing my face in public, but I still held negative beliefs about my chest. Although when I got my back-tattoo in April, I used the opportunity to stop wearing bras. I never liked bras, and I latched on to the excuse that I didn’t want the bra-strap or band to rub against the newly self-inflicted scab. For the first few months, I felt as if people were constantly staring at me. I was uneasy being in public.

I was once again exposed, with no support for my girls. They bounced freely, and I often found myself wearing loose clothing. Without the cups to form my breasts into perfect spheres, I felt more lemon-like than ever. Yet, I wanted the change. The change in parameters meant I had to take on a new perspective. I relieved myself of the under-garment that symbolized the social ideals of how a body should look, and allowed myself to exist as I am.

Change isn’t necessary in the journey of self-acceptance, but in my experience, cutting my hair and giving away my bras allowed me to establish new foundations for well-being. I took away my security blanket when I cut my hair, and I took away the symbol of shame when I stopped wearing bras. These two events became the markers for an era of personal body positivity.

This is my experience,
Yours truly,
Shayla

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