I'm Not Like Them (Female Body Image)

June 22, 2013

Angelina’s Story

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It has taken me years to realize that I don’t need to look like a tooth pick to feel or look beautiful. I decided a few years ago that I wasn’t going to let my appearance inhibit what I thought I could or couldn’t do. I knew I was smart and was a good mother and true friend, I knew that people around had no idea about my insecurities and I kept up a pretty good front and never let them know how I felt.

Back in 2008 I signed up with a friend of mine to do a half marathon, I have never done anything like this before and I was a little bit scared but I knew I could do it with a little bit of training. I trained for about a month and half to prepare, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to run the entire way but I would try for as long as I could. When I finished I was exhausted, my feet hurt for weeks after, but I felt great!! I felt like I could do anything, I started hiking 2-3 days a week; I didn’t care if I had to go alone, and I actually enjoyed the time to myself. I had time to clear my mind and think about things that I never did before. I felt myself getting stronger, mentally and physically, I was still nowhere near looking like I did before I got my first child, but I was becoming more comfortable with myself, not entirely, but little by little. A couple of years had passed since I started running and hiking when I tried to out for roller derby, I tried out for AZDD back in May of 2010, I made it on my first try, but by no means was I prepared for all that fresh meat had in store for me. It was the hardest 12 weeks of physical and mental anguish that I have ever had to endure……….I can’t even say, “HAD” to because I didn’t have to, but I did. I could have quit when I realized that I wasn’t catching on as fast as the other girls or that I was not as fast or as young as they were, but I didn’t, I knew that I would always regret it if I did, I knew that all of that hard work would have been for nothing.

After being drafted to my team, the Brutal Beauties, I skate for about one and a half seasons. I loved my team, they gave me strength and made me feel like I was actually good at something and they needed me. Unfortunately the politics of derby made the league not fun for me and not worth the drive to phoenix from chandler anymore. I found a new derby home in mesa with AZRG, it was flat track, which I had never really skated before, but it was worth a shot. During this time a photographer friend of mine also asked me if she could use some of the photos that she had taken of me for some of her promotional stuff. I was flattered and shocked that she would even consider using anything that I was in. After that I was also approached by one of the owners of a vehicle that we used in a shoot, he asked me if I would consider doing a shoot with another one of his cars that he was restoring, and he wanted to submit the photos to a national car magazine. I was so overwhelmed by everything that was happening, it made me really have to sit back and think about why I still gave myself such a hard time about my appearance, I wasn’t getting any younger and it just seemed silly to still think that way about myself. If I didn’t change my way of thinking, I was going to be miserable for the rest of my life. I didn’t want to be one of those angry middle-aged ladies that hated everyone and tried to make other people feel bad about them because they are so miserable. That’s not me at all and that not something that I never what to be. I decided that I was going to be happy with the way that I was, I don’t want to change and be something that I’m not or look like everyone else to be considered beautiful. I am strong, smart, beautiful and loved by so many people, friends and family.

I know that there will always be people that will disagree or have negative things to say about me, but I don’t care because I am happy with myself and I love my life. I have 3 beautiful boys that love me more than anything in the world; I have a beautiful, supportive and loving girlfriend that is also my best friend. I have friends that accept me for who I am and are always there for me. I think that being “ideal” is never really “ideal” at all; it really just depends on whom you’re asking.

Angelina

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