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All my life, Ive been big or bigger than most people.

Im not obese, but Ive never been skinny. I grew up taking a lot of dance classes, and when you went to them, your weight was constantly something to talk about.

The struggle was real. I was surrounded by people talking about their weight and rumors of people with eating disorders. But somehow, I never got too attached.

Sure, I felt terrible a lot of the time because I was bigger. I would even wear my pants too high because I felt like this covered up my tummy. I got ridiculed for it, but luckily, I had enough love for myself to not let the hate knock me down.

I just knew this was the body I was given. My dad was a bigger guy, so I always assumed I had his body type.

My sister, though, was always skinny. Sure, it sucked for me, but my sister got most of the good genes. I got the bad ones, and Ive learned to live with them.

My body will never be perfect. I could diet, work out more and probably reach my goal weight. But if its not my weight, there will be something else I want to change.

Ill focus on the cellulite, my nose, the acne scars, my weird bald spot, or even my surgery scars. There will always be something to hate about my body, which is why Ive worked hard to turn that hate around. I want to mold it into love or at least, acceptance.

This is who I am. Im not perfect: Ill never be a model.

BUT I can learn to take what Ive been given and make it work. Over the years, Ive learned how to understand my flaws and make them work for me.

Here are four ways you can make your flaws work for you:

1. Dress for your body type.

Im still trying to figure this one out, and its something youll constantly be learning.

But you have to figure out what looks good on you. You have to figure out what works best for your body type.

For example, all pants were not created equally. I know friends who exclusively shop at Ann Taylor Loft for their pants, while others shop at Target.

There is no right way to make pants, but there is a perfect pair of pants out there for you.

Shop around. Once you figure out what looks good on you, youll dress better and start to feel more confident.


2. Drink more water.

You dont have to diet: This is literally just about drinking more water every day.

You wouldnt believe what a difference being hydrated makes. Your skin will be healthier, and youll feel better.

I motivate myself byinvesting in a good water bottle to carry around. When Im excited about the water bottle, Im more likely to remember it and use it.


3. Embrace your differences.

I have moles, beauty marks and scars. just like Im sure everyone else has. But I used to be embarrassed by some of them.

I have a beauty mark right next to my right eye. I would try to cover it up with bangs, but there was a moment when I stopped seeing it as a flaw. Instead, I saw it as something unique about me.

Im special because I have that mark. I dont know anyone else with a similar mark.

I also have a scar on my belly from mole removal when I was a little girl. I used to be embarrassed by it, and I tried to cover it up whenever I wore a bathing suit or a dance costume that exposed my bare midriff.

I hated it until the day I started to love it. The scar has perfectly healed. So now, it looks like a tiny cute bug.

I used to hate my belly scar until I started seeing it as my cute bug mark. Now, I dont care who sees it because I love it.

Once you flip the script on your flaws and see them as things that make you unique, youll start to love and embrace them. They then stop becoming red flags of insecurity.


4. Remember, peoplelike you for who you are on the inside.

If you had the option to trade all your friends in order to be the most beautiful person in the world, would you do it? Probably not.

And if you would, you most likely need new friends. I have to remind myself my friends are my friends because of my personality. A friendship based solely on looks is so shallow, itll never last.

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You can date someone whos beautiful, sure. But looks fade. Once theyre gone, do you really want to be with the person underneath?

You could be a hideous-looking troll living under a bridge, but Im sure if youre super fun to hang out with, people will be hanging out under that bridge with you.

Sure, I still have so many insecurities. When I look in the mirror, I still hear those demons screaming. But Ive learned to turn down the volume on my demons.

In the wise words of my queen, RuPaul, If you cant love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen up in here?

Amen.

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