Soledad was a breath of fresh air. She lit up the room the second she walked through my door, and the minute we dug in, passion for life, love, and happiness poured from her. Her shout out is to all the small ladies out there (she's 5'1" and 95lbs). She has never been able to gain weight, and though she was forced to eat more as a child in an attempt to make her thicker, she has always held onto (or reminded herself of) personal happiness. A perfect example of this was her folder that rested on my dining room table that had positive affirmations written all over it. And she wasn't ashamed of it either. She said, "Oh, my folder has positive stuff all over it. When I have a bad day, I just read it and think, "Yeah...it's all good!" Love. It. I love her story and the way her photos turned out. I couldn't choose my favorite, so you're getting them all. ;)
Soledad's Body Story
Where to start. I guess I can begin with why I decided to do this project. My friend from Marching Band introduced me to The Body Project after I posted on Facebook how upset I was that it's becoming a "bad" thing to be skinny. I saw a picture of a girl with beautiful tattoos, but instead of people admiring her tattoos, they were mentioning how skinny she was, stating things like, She's...
- Not curvy
- Too skinny
- Not pretty
This is the photo (which we used as inspiration for her portrait):
Seeing this made me outraged. People used to state these types of things to me, as well. I have been put down to the point that I have felt uncomfortable in my own skin. People have said things like, "Why don't you eat more?" "You're too skinny." "Have you tried to gain weight?" "Are you anorexic?" And so much more. When I would go to my friends' houses, their parents would serve me a huge plate of food and not let me leave the table until I was finished because they thought my parents weren't feeding me.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that no matter what type of body you have, others will find a bad thing to say about it. In this day and age, there has been more support of "curvy" girls. Not saying that's bad. I fully support that. The things is, there is no balance. Society uplifts one and downs the other. Because someone is skinny doesn't mean they aren't beautiful, too.
I can't change who I am or what I look like. I have tried several times to gain weight just to fit in with what people wanted, but that's not me. I wanted to do this project to feel beautiful in my skin. I want to be able to walk confidently, dress the way I want, see myself as beautiful. I want to feel comfortable being who I am. I don't want all the things that I have seen or heard to bother me because I know I love myself and know my worth.
What matters is that you know that you're a good person. Help as much as you can, love as much as you can, and never forget your worth and how important you are.
I wish there would be equality, a set balance for the future. I want everyone to feel happy in their own skin. It doesn't matter what size you are. You only have one life. I've learned that if you are not happy in your own skin, it's time to make HEALTHY changes. Try new things. That way you can find the things you do and do not like.
It's true, you cannot love another until you love yourself.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to experience this project.