I Love My Body

sarahFader_instagramby Sarah FaderBrooklyn, NY

When I started puberty I began growing breasts. I remember this like it was yesterday. I was 11 years old and I could no longer sleep on my stomach. While some of my friends were jealous of my early development, I considered my breasts to be a nuisance. They were getting in the way of my physical comfort. In time, I learned to accommodate my new body by sleeping on my side.

But then there were other "problems." I have a distinct memory of going to Macy's with my mother on 34th Street to get fitted for a bra when I was 12 years old. I didn't want to be there. The lyrics "I am woman, hear me roar” played in my mind the entire time. I imagined it was playing on a record player and I forcibly removed the needle from the player and heard the record scratch. "Stop the music! I don't want to become a woman!"

I was quite the tom boy. I had an older brother, played with G.I. Joes, and watched “Transformers.” It was the ‘80s after all. I couldn't be bothered with these things called boobs and this weird thing where I was bleeding every month. I didn't want my period. It was annoying and I wanted to go play in the mud.

In time I accepted the fact that I was a woman. And I grew to love my womanly parts. As my breasts grew, I wore shirts and dresses that would accentuate them. Not for other people, but for myself as a means of self acceptance.

I have struggled with eating issues in the past, specifically when I battled with anxiety and depression. There have been times that I've been overly conscious of how my body looked. It certainly doesn't help that the media (televisions, magazines, film, and the Internet) flaunt women who are size zero as the norm. I am a size eight and I have hips and boobs.

I love my body, but it's taken me years to get to that point of self acceptance. I still have days where I look at my belly and wish it didn't protrude. But the reality is that we all have different body types as women. No two women look the same.

But what we can do is push against the stereotypes that the media puts out there. Women are not all skinny or fat. Women have varying body types. We are all beautiful in our own ways.

There is no standard of beauty. We are all beautiful. It's time to accept this. If we love ourselves unabashedly, then the media will be forced to catch on.

So love your body. Love yourself. Be proud. Be who you are.

Sarah Fader is the flavor vanilla with something unusual in it - like gummy bears because she's sometimes extroverted and wants everybody to like her, but some folks are like "wait a minute, this vanilla ice cream has gummy bears in it?! That's weird. I don't know about that..." Other people love that this particular ice cream has gummy bears in it because it makes it more interesting and special. You can read her awesome piece Stop Calling Assertive Women B*tches on The Huffington Post here.