I wear black.
Because I am insecure of my body.
Because it makes me look thinner.
Because my fats aren’t visible.
Because it hides my body.
It was that simple in my head, I didn’t have to explain myself. Little did I know at the time that my insecurities shaped every aspect of my life.
As a child, my mom dressed me in colourful dresses with matching butterfly accessories, shiny shoes and she braided hair. I enjoyed trying on new clothes and showing them off to my parents and friends with a smile plastered on my face. The colour scale was limitless in my life, I wore a different colour every day, I was a rainbow, full of color and joy.
As my teenage years approached, I began gaining weight. I remembered the days when I used to love buying new clothes as though they were years ago. Now every time I went shopping, I came back with nothing but a mix of even more vivid emotions. Hate, Regret, Stress, and Sadness. It seemed that every time I looked at a mirror it reflected nothing but everything I hated about myself.
I tried a dress. My hips were too wide.
I tried jeans. My thighs were too thick.
I tried a shirt. My belly was too wide.
So I stuck with black.
I wore black shirts, black pants, black dresses, and black skirts through middle school. They covered my hips, my thighs, my belly. They covered my insecurities. I remember watching as my friends wore different styles and colours, shining everyday. With their size 34 dresses and thin waists, they wore red, white, blue, and pink to events. While I was imprisoned by black.
I was tired of wearing a corset under my dresses.
I was tired of breathing in my belly when I talked to people.
I was tired of hiding my curves.
I was tired of black.
But it was the only color that drowned my insecurities.
Along with my physical insecurities came social media pressure. As I scrolled through my feed, I began feeling insecure of my own body, my palms couldn’t wrap around my thighs and I couldn’t see an hourglass figure reflected in the mirror. I searched for celebrity weights, and calculated the amount of weight I need to lose to look like them. For so many years, I was imprisoned by a number that society had deemed acceptable, I felt obliged to abide by the expectations of society.
Summer 2019, however, was an important step for me, I became friends with a group of people, people that lifted the pressure of perfection off of me. They saw in me what I didn’t see in myself, beauty and strength. I went shopping with these girls for two consecutive weeks. Similar to every other teenager, they tried new clothing and styles, as I was stuck to my traditional black outfits. They were surprised by my behaviour, and encouraged me to try new styles. It began with a pair of blue stone earrings (something I would never buy), and eventually I found myself wearing colors and showing them off again. When trying on clothes I complained about my hips looking too wide at first, they were ugly. My friends were utterly shocked, they stated that they wished they had curves like mine but my brain was so fixed on the idea that colour looked bad on me. Within a few moments of trying on colors, I felt programmed to hate my appearance, all I could hear was “you look weird, change”. Understanding what I was thinking, my friends replied with,
“Stop, you are beautiful”.
Although today I still wear black from time to time, I wear it as a source of empowerment and not imprisonment. I’m not restrained by it anymore. I control the amount of black and white in my life. I pair it with colourful earrings, shirts, pants, and shoes. I feel as though my rainbow is close again.
Don’t get imprisoned by black. Do not let society control you.
My hips are beautiful.
My thighs are beautiful.
My belly is beautiful.
My body is beautiful.
I am beautiful.