I can’t remember the very first time I happened, but I remember that it hurt. I must have been a young teenager and my mom took my sister and I swimsuit shopping. My sister grabbed a handful of cute bikinis and headed to the dressing room and I struggled to find even one swimsuit that I thought looked decent on me.
In the end she went home with a red polka dot bikini and I went home with a black and white swim dress. Yes, I said swim dress. You know the kind that I mean. It covered my stomach and my thighs and it didn’t look at all like something a teenager would wear, but I believed that because I was heavier I had to pick the swimsuit with the most fabric. So my sister got a cute bikini and I got the tent.
And this is what I like to call comparison. Though we have the same parents and were raised eating the same food my sister and I are not the same size. She is thin and I am not. As a result I spent most of my life feeling like I was the ‘fat’ one. I was the one who needed to diet even though I was hungry while she could eat whatever she wanted.
Comparison made me bitter! It made me jealous. Now, I love my sister more than anything in the world and I love her just how she is. She has the sweetest personality and would do anything for anyone. The problem was not with her, the problem was with me and how I saw myself.
My sister loved me the way I was. She encouraged me to buy the cute dress and believed that I could be anything I wanted to me. If I could have only believed the same thing! How much sweeter my childhood could have been!
Society tells young girls that we should all look like my sister. But I think that the world would be rather boring if we all looked the same! I may not pull off a bikini like my sister but I am beautiful just the way I am.
Beauty goes so much deeper than our skin and our shape. It’s what is on the inside that matters. I am beautiful because I am strong and confident and I hope that’s what people see when they look at me.
So now whenever my sister and I are together I don’t think of myself as the ‘fat’ sister. I am the creative sister, the sister who writes, the sister who sings, the sister who loves to travel, and the sister who teachers, but never again will I be the ‘fat’ sister.
I choose to see the world for what it is and I choose to believe that I beautiful just the way I am.