I’m afraid to post this.

Today, I want to talk about faking it.

Let me start by saying that I have had body issues my whole life. Serious body hate all funneled towards my tummy, my thighs, and any other part that is less than perfect. And before I get a slew of comments saying “but Alia, you are beautiful!!!”, I want to share that it doesn’t matter. At the end, there is always something to criticize, always something to tone, shrink or make better. And I know I am not the only woman to feel this way.

I spent a chunk of my teenage years obese and never really wore a bathing suit. It was always bathing suit + cover up. Always. 

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself on a little slice of paradise. Akin to Lake Tahoe, Pucón is an extreme-adventure town in Southern Chile. We spent our first day at the beach. Just THINKING about it stressed me out. I was going to be there with my man and his family. Chileans all wear bikinis. I only have old-lady one-piece “Miracle suits”.  I was freaking OUT. I’m pretty sure I dedicated at least 10 hours of my precious sister-time trying on/shopping for something MORE flattering, complaining, fretting, & cowering in front of the mirror. I wish I was exaggerating. Ha.

Fast forward to the beach. Playa Blanca. Brilliant blue waters, a snow-covered volcano in the background, and hundreds of women in Bikinis.

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Bathing suit and cover up in hand. I decided ENOUGH. This time I was going to wear JUST my bathing suit. And fake it. Fake it that I have ALWAYS done this. Pretend that I thought my body was PERFECT in my bathing suit. Walk like I FELT gorgeous. And I was going to spend EVERY ounce of my fear and CHANNEL it to that endeavor.
And I did.

Sometimes our fear can ONLY dissipate when we dive into it, head first, with all we’ve got. I straightened my shoulders, lifted my chin, and used my body language to pretend everything I wanted to feel. There’s an EXCELLENT Ted Talk on this (how confidence is AFFECTED by our body language and not the other way around.

So maybe this is one of many major steps to full self-love and crazy hands-down acceptance. And maybe I have long way to go. But this ROCKED. And I will keep on doing it any time that nasty monster of doubt creeps in and tells me I shouldn’t/can’t/won’t. It sure beats the latter.

FAKE IT.

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So! My dear friends. When has this worked for you? What do you think? Please say so in the comments below! I love to hear what you have to say!

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9 thoughts on “I’m afraid to post this.

  1. I just love this story!

    Bravvvoooo!! Deciding to own it. To claim your own individual beauty. Oh yes that IS hot!

    When I’m on the beach I happily wear a bikini, or less. I love my body. And as you know I am not thin.

    Yes to body love!!!!!!

    • Oh goddess, you SO OWN IT! In fact, your sultry sassy beauty inspires me so much. So happy to know you and have you in my life, Lady V! Thank your upride, SG :)

  2. I think that the longer you fake it, the more likely it is that you believe it is true. I also have noticed that whenever I look at a current picture I am horrified by how I look, but in later years looking back, I think I look ok and wonder why I was such an idiot. All I can tell you is that people love you or don’t based less on how you look on the outside and more on how you look on the inside. I also think that every person is beautiful in some way and hope you can find a way to love who you are, inside and out. :)

  3. As delicate as the subject is (was?) and the torment you probably felt in your younger years, I must admit I had a grin reading this because, number one you are so right when you say we always find something to criticize (been there), and number two, because people like you inspire me in ways you can’t imagine (yes, as a young person – you don’t know how often I’ve talked about you to other students or my daughters), and number three… you make me smile with your candor! What I do with fear… I use it to my advantage! I refuse to think the situation will beat me down, so even when painful, I cling to faith, the goodness and positive vibe I can get in the end. Caminar con confianza y seguridad… Fear can’t beat that! Si soy unica y no hay otra como yo… Por supuesto! Love the pictures!

    • Ohhhh Señora Heard, your post makes me feel emotional and misty-eyed. Thank you for your praise. It is so nice to hear from a role model I had in the midst of those very times! I think all of this is passed on through women. What we say, feel, and DO with our beauty molds every woman around us. I think when one of us shows courage and an ability to love ourselves for what we are, it gives others the permission to do the same. I’m pretty sure there’s a Marianne Williamson quote that says just that! Have you read her? I think you’d LOVE her stuff :)

      I hope one day I can be a torch to my daughters and show them to love their beauty inside and out! Have you seen this? It’s amazing!! Watch it before you read it :) the magic is in the performance.
      http://hellyeahslampoetry.tumblr.com/post/3496271709/katie-makkai-performs-pretty-national-poetry-slam

  4. Confidence is key. So often we allow ourselves to believe that how we look will determine how we feel. We forget that how we feel, if we are happy or sad, proud or ashamed etc, may have a much larger influence on our appearance than that 5 pounds we gained last Christmas. Your right Alia, if we can’t embrace our bodies 100% at that first beach outing, lets fake it until we make it! I hope you put your chin up and chest out when you posted this picture, lets keep the confidence up girl!

  5. Love it! Love you, the picture, your blog post, and your point! You are so totally right! I have felt that on SOOO many occasions. Let’s see… where to start…. Japan, Chile, Chile again, India, back home and wearing a bikini, too!…. The list goes on. I found it has helped to live in other countries. Here, we have to get used to the fact that we will always stick out in some way (either for our Spanish, our looks, our taste in food or clothing, or mannerisms). This means that you just gotta fake it ’till you make it! ‘Cause there’s no way around it. But the same goes for in your own country, too. People are attracted to confident people. We find them beautiful. So if you are confident, you will radiate beauty whether you like it or not! But, I’m sorry, I do need to say that I am IN LOVE with your curls. You are so beautiful, inside and out. Thanks for the delightful post!

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