Last time we were here, Michelle added to our “My Curves, My Journey” series with her story of finding her way back to her confidence and learning how to block out the negativity of the world!
Our “My Curves, My Journey” series was created as a way for us women to share our journey into finding ourselves. As I am on this journey of personal growth and learning to better love myself, I felt the need to create a space for our community to share those stories. Depending on where we are in our individual journeys we may just need to hear someone else’s story to help us move our along and so with this series I hope to encourage us to share with each other.
What has been one of your most pivotal moments on your journey to loving yourself and owning who you are? Can you remember what that felt like? Join us every week as we learn about each other’s journeys to self-love.
My Curves, My Journey: Nadia on Loving Myself Fully
From the time I could remember, when I looked into the mirror I saw beauty. For some this may be hard to believe if you saw how my mom dressed me when I was a kid. She shopped at Catherine’s and Avenue, so she forced me to wear what she wore and bought. And I will never forget those round frame glasses that were too big for my young face and that were tragically thick plastic and had the nerve to be in a floral design. That I had no choice but to wear because I would carelessly fall asleep in my wire frames and broke them.
I still have nightmares that one day I will wake up with my hair in that mushroom bowl 80s look that my mom called a hairstyle. She curled my hair with a 1.5 inch curling iron (not a flat iron) and made me sleep in old fashioned curling rods so the hideous style could still be fresh in the morning. SMDH. She was setting me up for bullying and failing every time she made me wear what she thought was “appropriate”.
But she is not to be blamed.
I was gaining weight like it was my job, and I am sure that I am not the only one who remembers our lack of options back then, being that there were no known instance of cute clothes for plus size preteens. This, on top of the fact of being one of the biggest girls in my school and grade, as well as being the new kid at said school. I was a huge walking target.
For the first few months of being in my new school, I was called the daughter of Rikishi and if you don’t know who that is, what were you doing with your life in the early 2000s? Rikishi was a highly popular WWE Sumo size wrestler! Whose signature move was to sit on people and crush them!!!!
Yea, I know. But that wasn’t the reason I would go home crying and then eventually, to my teacher to beg them to stop. It was the fact that less than two years earlier, my father was killed. So, any mention of the words dad, daddy, father sent tears welling up in my eyes. After the situation was explained to the entire class, that they were under strict orders to no longer tease the little fat girl, Nadia, about who her father was. Some of my classmates backed off and soon welcomed me as friend. But unfortunately for those who were a bit more evil and persistent, they resorted to what they believed to be a more creative way to try and torture me.
However, with the questioning of my father’s identity no longer being available ammunition, I was finally able to let them know that their fat jokes no longer had an effect on me! I knew I was fat, I knew my clothes were ugly, and for old women, I knew that my glasses were big and looked like they belonged to someone’s grandmother but that didn’t mean sh*t because I was still cute! I had a smart mouth, quick wit, and was a self proclaimed wordsmith.
As you could imagine, my comeback game was strong and deadly. Which was probably due to years of playing the dozens with my uncle and older cousins— a slang term for a competition of comedic trash talk. I was prepared to defend myself, for everything they could say about me, I had 5 more things to say about them. My clapback game was so good, that what I said would cut deeper than the fat jokes they throw at me. Because guess what? I owned a mirror and I already knew that I was fat! But I knew regardless of my increasing size, I knew that I was also beautiful inside and out.
This continued all the way to high school, so by then I was known as Nadia with the loud mouth, beautiful smile, amazing confidence, and a big personality to back it up. I was a social butterfly and like my father before me I knew no stranger. I also was very involved in school activities like the PomPom team, JROTC and the majorette dance squad… not to brag, but I was kind of on the popular side.
However there were still haters (that’s what I like to call them now) bullies, and my tormentors, that (for all I knew) didn’t like me because I didn’t give a F*ck!! And I had friends, who didn’t give a F*ck, that were so loyal to me, that often there was times they got into fights for me! Fights that I didn’t even know about. They became my defense, my bodyguards, my counselors, my own personal cheerleading squad. They were rude, mean and the fighters that allowed me to stay kind, be helpful, and nice. They taught me how to be a little bit more tougher but at the same time they encouraged me to keep smiling.
Because like I said, I knew I was right!
So what, I was big!!
I was so active and fit it didn’t make any sense. My doctors and my coaches did not have a problem with my weight. Only people that had a problem with it were my haters and even my mom… but that’s another topic for another time. So what, you didn’t like me… that is okay because I loved myself! And at the end of the day, that’s all that matters right?
That you love yourself!?!
I knew from a early age that I could not live my life concerning myself with the thoughts of others. That the only person’s thoughts that matter, were my own.
How did Nadia feel about herself?
What did Nadia see when she looked into the mirror?
Because, at end and beginning of everyday, it’s just you and that mirror- the mirror that you have to be able to stand in front of and learn to love the person staring back at you. That person is all you have, there is only one you and you only get one life to live! Don’t spend it hating yourself and seeking to please others and their idea of beauty.
Now you may be thinking “but Nadia when did you had this realization that you was beautiful no matter what others thought or said of you?” And honestly guys, I do not remember. I just always had this feeling deep down inside, like I felt it my soul. I now imagine that I had this little voice within me that said “hey my beautiful big brown girl with the pretty smile, you are creative, talented and unique and its okay, we will be okay”.
And I believed her, I trusted her, and I still do! When I am having a bad day, week, or even month, I listen to that little voice, that is sometimes a scream, that reminds me that this moment is just part of my journey and not my end destination.
So that is my mission now, my life’s work to encourage others to find that little small voice of positive light within them and believe in her or him.
Because after years of having Tim Gunn “make it work” moments with my limited wardrobe in college and having to make my own clothes as a young broke professional; I realize that there was a place for the self-made Plus Size fashionista. So with the creation of FullStyle Inc, which started as my senior Art Exhibit back in undergrad, has now grown into my own brand and platform and soon, the launch of FullStyleInc the blog!
This is my goal in life: To share my knowledge and skills with other plus size individuals that it does not take much to look good and feel good. All you need is just a few well made clothes that fit and flatter your figure, that smart and beautiful little voice inside you, and the right attitude.
For you to know that you too, can look into the mirror and see beauty and know that it is okay to love yourself. It is okay to know you are beautiful, in a world that is determined to prove you wrong. It is okay to be your unique self because everyone else is taken. And from where I am sitting I wouldn’t want to be them even if I had the option!
So I sit back and continue to smile because, who doesn’t love being right?!!!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and get to know me. Nadia. And I hope you will always remember to ‘Love Yourself Fully!’
Thank you Nadia for sharing and being so open about your journey & where you are!
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