I was recently inspired by the Instagram account @i_weigh. It was started by activist and actress Jameela Jamil, in response to the constant shaming of women in the media for how they look. We are worth so much more than the number we see on the scale; our weight is not measured in pounds, but in our abilities and what we love about ourselves. “I like myself in spite of EVERYTHING I’ve been taught by the media to hate...” Jameela said in the very first Instagram post on the account.
I don’t know how it took me so long to discover it, as it has over 400,000 followers and over 2,500 posts, but I immediately loved the concept. So, I decided to reach out to some incredible women that I know and asked them to weigh themselves in what they’re worth. Here’s what they had to say:
I’ve always struggled to like my curly hair. I used to pull it out to the point where I would get bald spots because I hated it so much. As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve learned what’s best for curly hair and how to take care of it, and I have learned to love it.
Getting a little deeper… my lived experiences have truly defined me as a person. The difficult things I’ve gone through don’t necessarily weigh me down, but instead they have helped lift my up and become a stronger person. Those experiences are always going to be a really big part of me—and those parts of me come out through my anxiety and bouts of depression—but overall I think I am better for them.
My ability to be compassionate gives me perspective on everything I do. It’s the reason why I feel everything so deeply, from music to what my friends or family members might be going through. Having that understanding is a blessing, though it causes a lot of overthinking and I’m often described as sensitive or too emotional, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing!
I think of myself as an extroverted introvert, so it’s definitely hard being extremely talkative in social settings at times. I’m quiet in large groups, but that definitely doesn’t mean that I’m not engaged, anti-social, or that I dislike you; I just see and hear a lot!
I still struggle with defining how I view myself through gender norms. I like to wear masculine clothes, but still view myself as feminine in certain ways. I try to remind myself to block out what society says I should look like so that I can find my own balance between masculinity and femininity that makes me feel good. I’ve come a long way in figuring out my own personal style, but I think there will always be constant growth and self-discovery that I’ll keep exploring.
I think my understanding of myself has always translated into a good understanding of other people as well. I try to see other people’s perspectives and understand their feelings or thoughts. Being understanding has made me a good listener, which I think is important for all of us to do in order to share our stories. It’s helped me become friends with anyone and always being able to see the good in people.
I’ve grown to love my curves over the years. I still struggle with my physical appearance sometimes because I see other skinny girls with toned bodies rocking their bikinis like I want to, or wearing form-fitting clothes that I wish I could. But, I’ve accepted that I am a heavier girl and that’s okay. I can still look good no matter what I wear.
I’ve also come to realize that I am courageous. This has really helped me in the past couple of years with being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and depression. When things get tough in my life, like with mental or physical health, I keep going and stay strong.
I’m pretty covered up and modest, so what shows that I’m a weightlifter are my biceps. I get a lot of different reactions to my muscles, but even negative reactions make me proud because it reminds me that I am strong. I’m proud of myself for doing something that I enjoy. It makes me feel beautiful and different in my own way.
Something else I really like about myself is how outspoken I am; Islamophobia, racism, mental health are all topics I’m passionate about. Since I’ve been able to share my experiences, people know me for my strong views and often ask me to talk about these different topics in group settings, or just one-on-one.
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