I've never had a problem with my body before. I've always been very happy with its abilities and comfortable with its appearance. Until now. I guess my mind was becoming too accustomed to summer relaxation and deeemed it necessary to conjure a brand-new insecurity.
I can't say why I never noticed it until now, but I virtually have no hips! It's quite curious, actually- I don't quite know how I wound up this way. I've always been very aware of my small bust size (A cup), but never really noticed that the whole of me kind of resembles a young girl. For my age, I'd say I look pretty boyish. I literally never realized this until now. I would notice how distinctly mature other girls look and disagree with those who described my appearance as notedly feminine.
I feel like I never even developed! My development was so minimal. I think it started and stopped in eighth grade, involving menarche and about two inches of growth on part of my chest and hips. Hmph.
I've really always enjoyed my appearance until now! Maybe I'm just frustrated because I'm advancing in age but will never advance in development. I'll never experience life as a curvacious woman, or even a very womanly-looking woman. I think I'll progress from looking like a child directly into looking like an old woman... minus the curves.
This could just be the way I'm genetically predispositioned to look. From what I remember of her, my birth mother was shorter with small chest and very boyish figure as well. I feel like I'm reaching for an excuse to look this way. Which may be why I'm inclined to mention the fact that I wore an immobile back brace for four years of my life- starting about half way through eighth grade. Could this have stunted my growth? It covered my entire torso, spanning from shoulders to pelvis. I'd like to think my skeleton wouldn't have altered its course because of this restraint, but I suppose it's possible?
I also know that some people develop into girls although they have the genes of a girl, and can live out their entire lives without ever knowing it. Something about the X/Y chromosomes... (I passed notes during biology).
Whatever the cause, I'd just like to be content, or preferably happy, with the way I look again. My body takes a little work- I have scoliosis- but there's not a damn thing I can do to change that. I definately take great care of my body, by frequently engaging in different types of exercise, maintaining proper hygiene, eating well, practicing safe sex, etc. I get a fine amount of male attention.
But I want to feel feminine without the nail polish, without the mascara and eye shadow, without the pushup bras and clothing that "create the illusion of curves". I want to be happy with my body's strength and agility, appreciative of its appearance. I feel like most girls look more feminine than I do- in their facial features, face shape, body shape, bone structure, and bodyfat distribution. I have a pretty square jawline and muscular legs to complement my relatively boyish figure.
Seems the only thing about me that can fit into a little box is my body.
Well, here's the thing: while I totally understand your frustration in this case, if you think about it, your ideals of what is feminine are played up, at best. Yes, the media likes to portray a "feminine woman" as curvy and voluptuous, but does this mean that you HAVE to have a curvy butt or hips or chest to be or feel feminine? Not at all.
Try and remember how you felt about yourself before you became more aware of your figure. While I had the opposite problem of you (big hips + butt, all from my mom) and became very aware, uncomfortably so, of what I looked like, I know that I can't really do much about the shape I have, and that the most important thing is that it functions. I also have a pretty muscular body, but I love it because it enables me to perform in sports in ways I might not be able to otherwise.
Too, you seem to liken certain characteristics only to men or only to women. A square jawline is a square jawline no matter who it's on: the trait isn't expressively male or female.
What is feminine? It's been played up and played around by the media so much it's easy to get confused...We have those waif-like, willow-creatures we call Super Models. And then we have our voluptuous women like Beyonce and the like..."full figured" we like to call them. And then we have athletes like the Williams Sisters, who are feminine in their own right -- from their powerful thighs to firm, toned arms... So all these body shapes -- short or tall, thin, skinny, slim, fat, big, full -- all these different words and all of them have been scrutinized by the media.
Heard of the model who died of an eating disorder? Then everyone went into this whole "OMG THIN'S NOT COOL" phase?
How about, back in the day when J. Lo wasn't all that? How she was just "the girl with the HUGE behind".
But at one time or another, by different people, these things have been glorified.
What is feminine? Feminine is a state of mind. Your love for yourself, behind the facade of eyeshadow and the security of mascara makes you, YOU. You describe yourself to be boyish. You're not. You're YOU. And you're beautiful in your own right. The ability to feel feminine lies not in your hips but in your mind and heart. You've got a dancer's body. You've got a woman's body. You've GOT a body that you can do so much with. Today you may be playing soccer or basketball or baseball or running, and tomorrow, you can be bouncing a child on your lap.
We all come in different shapes and sizes and ever so often we feel bad we're not one size or the other. And that's normal. But truly, you're beautiful in your own individual way.
Your body sounds a lot like mine. Throughout all of high school, my shape didn't vary a whole lot from how it was when I was 10 (my height and weight don't contribute much to an appearance of maturity, still). I think that in the last couple years (I'm 24), I've slightly developed hips and a minutely defined waist, but I am frequently mistaken by well-meaning, friendly grocery store clerks and overly-friendly 6th grade boys as a very young teenage girl (the only reason they don't mistakenly attribute a Y chromosome to me is because of my hair). For a long time I struggled because all my sisters have great curves, all the clothes were cut for girls with curves, and my best friend has had the stereotypical hourglass figure since junior high.
But as I constantly beat myself up for not having her figure, she's been beating herself up for not having mine. Bodies come in all different shapes and sizes, and it seems that we have all been trained to hate our own bodies and to want somebody else's. Femininity comes from being comfortable with the fact that you are a woman, and embracing that fact, no matter what you do and how you look. Curvy figures are beautiful. Straighter figures are beautiful. What you have is yours, and you should revel in that fact. Too much of today's consumer products are geared towards ways that we can cover up our natural features and trick people into believing that we look different and are shaped different from how we actually are. Embrace your body! Find clothes that you look great in and that flatter your figure, instead of wishing that you could wear the same dress as a woman with 36-24-36 measurements. Develop a style that fits your body and your personality. Revel in what you have, and have fun with it, instead of fighting it mentally and emotionally.
Posts: 47 | From: USA | Registered: May 2007
| IP: Logged |
Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998
Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.