Self Realization During Self Isolation
I’ve always been a plus-sized girl. From as young as I can remember, I shopped at Fashion Bug, Rainbow, and the women’s sale section of Macy’s; and weight loss has been prevalent in my life since I was 14. Drastic loss and gain has happened due to EDs, lack of knowledge, and truly a foundation of self-hatred. At 25, I am still on this
journey, but this time with a support system so much more well-versed on how to have a healthy relationship with oneself and the body. But there has been a constant between my weight loss and weight gain, and that is “well, at least you have such a pretty face”. You know, a coded statement that implied if I wasn’t “pretty in the face” inherently my fatness would make me ugly.
The effect this has had on my life, professionally, romantically, spiritually even, has been immense. So much so that I’ve found it difficult to promote myself or my work knowing that in the world of branding, I am what needs to sell first. It feels nasty for a lack of better words. I’ve been so adamant about wanting my poetry and writing to be recognized for my talent and the hard work I put into it all. Finding a clean balance between wanting my work to prevail and allowing myself the liberty of using all parts of me to do so, has been challenging. Only recently have I come to a head; do I want my voice to be heard in an age of social media or am I going to be okay with keeping that to myself and those closest to me?
With the current climate of the world, more than ever have I been yearning to speak, hell, yell from the mountain tops even. So, there’s this looming monster that I have to defeat, and that is this self-belief that I am not worth being heard. That success is not mine to take. That I am not worthy of anything else than society has told me I am, because of my “pretty face”. And I want to fight this fight so very badly, not only for myself but also for the hundreds of people I’m sure have heard “you’d be so beautiful if you just lost some weight”. All of this pretext and reasoning to say, I want to let you know some steps I’ve taken to gain back ownership of my talent and beauty.
1. Asking for help. It’s the only reason I’ve been able to start any of these steps. My friends have been my biggest supporters through this, and I truly don’t think I could be breaking this mold I’ve kept myself in if it weren’t for them. Expressing my goals and life changes to them has given me so much insight into myself. “Don’t discount your talent” were words said to me by a close friend that changed everything. So I extend those words to you, do not discount your own talent, hard word, and impact in this world.
2. Recognizing that beauty and talent can co-exist. Trying to keep my person separated from my works has been probably the most damaging thing I’ve done. In a world where I’ve craved representation in all forms of media, I’ve shied away from being that for myself and others. Realizing that others care about what you have to say, and see themselves in you is so important to keep moving forward. There’s motivation in that.
3. You’re not always going to get it right. I’ve stopped writing articles in 2017 and it’s been a few months since I wrote a poem I’ve been proud of. I’ve started about 5 different versions of this piece before I landed here. Whatever it is you’re seeking to do, failure will be apart of it. And that’s okay. Learning is evergreen, you take what you can to become better, even if just a little.
4. Find what feels good for you. My “sexy routine” doesn’t involve expensive lingerie or a bold red lip; but sometimes when I’m feeling myself, I throw on a pair of Parade thongs and a bralette and dance around to Blood Orange’s “Angel Pulse”. Finding what makes you feel at your best, what makes you feel the sexiest, prettiest, most handsome to yourself is what is important. When no ones watching, find that “thing” that has you going “well damn, OKAY!”. 5. Becoming vulnerable. I’m sure I’m not the only one that has grown up with this idea of “house things stay in the house”, which has created this lovely barrier called a brick wall in our emotional lives. Finding ways to chip away at that wall down little by little has been key to accepting certain things in my life. Therapy will always be highly recommended by me for this reason. Being in it since I was 17-18, every session I find myself unraveling and discovering wounds that have never been attended to. It’s important to heal, so allow yourself the grace of being mended and becoming more open with yourself. In turn, knowing what you are capable of healing from, and surviving will show you that you are very much worth all the good things in life.
Nancy Azcona is a 25 year old Salvadorian/Dominican New Yorker living out in Los Angeles since 2017. Queer and first gen American, the intersections are truly endless. She has been working in the entertainment industry since 2016 and is currently a Production Coordinator at the digital company SMOSH. Her articles have been featured on Funknvibe’s previous blog platform and her spoken word has been performed at their live events. In her spare time she enjoys taking care of too many plants, working on her imperfect ceramic pieces, watching any and all reality TV shows, and using her voice to tear down systematic oppression.