i love my lgbt body confidence self love

"I love my body. My body does wonderful things for me. I have a great body. 

As a fat black woman, I do have to deal with the way that other people react to me. I can have all the self-love I want, but I’m still impacted by people who demonstrate disdain or disgust for my body, or who marginalize me due to my ethnicity. And it does, it does hurt. Sometimes you have to forcefully remind yourself not to internalize the external messages. 

I have struggled with body image issues because the ideal body in this society, in the Western society, is a thin, taller, big breast but not too big breast, smaller waist, big hips but not too big, blonde, blue-eyed. And I don’t fit a lot of those characteristics. And my biggest problem with my body is not my body, it’s how other people stigmatize me because my body does not fit the ideal. 

I did do some extensive dieting. There’s a lot of self-esteem issues where when you repeatedly try to change your body to fit the ideal and repeatedly fail at that because our bodies do try to hold on to every calorie when you’re trying to lose weight. Manipulating your body size is not easy. So, a lot of the self esteem issues come from attempted body size manipulation. Once I decided that this is the body I have, and I have to love it the way that it is, I felt a lot less self-conscious, a lot more willing to put myself out there, because it’s not for other people to love my body. It’s for me to love my body.

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Lily Li