Letter to My Younger Self
Dear 14-year-old Maria,
Love your body.
Now I know how you’re feeling. I know you’re sitting there thinking about all of the ways people criticize your curves. Like that time your friend Marcus told your crush to ask you out. And the dude asked Marcus if he was talking about the “fat girl?” Or that time your Auntie said you looked “disgusting” in those new jeans you were rocking. But let’s get one thing straight – Auntie doesn’t know the first thing about looking fly. And remember, Marcus firmly corrected ex-bae by telling him, “no, the voluptuous woman.” Voluptuous, as in sexy.
People have an awful lot of opinions about your body – how you should look, how you should dress, how much you should weigh. But don’t hide your body. Learn how to dress it. And don’t get caught up in every fad diet craze. Grapefruits, cottage cheese and lemon water will not sustain anyone. Take care of yourself. Eat the foods that fuel you. And keep playing the sports you love. Because let me tell you where that body with its beautiful curves are going to take you girl – straight to an acceptance from Harvard. Imagine what your Auntie will be saying then.
Sexy isn’t one-size fits all, but there are some universal truths. Trusting yourself is sexy. Confidence is sexy. Your curves, as Marcus pointed out, are sexy. Three college degrees (yes, three!) are sexy. And most of all, loving yourself fully is sexy.
So, trust yourself. Love yourself. Ignore the doubters. Dream big. Fall hard. And get back up again. Each attempt to reach a goal teaches you something new. Even if it’s just how to care for the bruises.
Living a life that is fully your own may make you more vulnerable, but it also opens the door to so much exciting possibility. So, spend less time in your head and more time open to the moments that feel good. Explore your sexuality. Have as much healthy sex as you want – in a relationship (or out of one) – because practice, indeed, makes perfect. And, when you’re wondering what that guy is thinking, trust me when I tell you, all he’s thinking about is your sexy confidence.
Oh, and one last thing – don’t worry about what any of this means for your future. None of these things will define you, but they will help you define yourself on your own terms. And, anyway you look at it, know that you’ll be fine girl, exactly the way you are. 😉
Photo credit: @eyeforebony