Abigail wanted to share her poem and thoughts on the experience of BDD as a black woman.
I am going to love this body
I am going to be in Love with this body
No one can love this body more than me
I am precious, sexy and beautiful
I accept my body
This love that I give you is inevitable and infinite
I am feminine like a rose
Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder
My body is a universal beauty
And I am blessed to own it
“The time I had written this diary entry/love letter to myself I felt the ugliest and didn’t believe any of the words written. They were more of affirmations and what I wanted to eventually think of myself. The scarring on my chest and stomach left me afraid to wear clothes that would reveal them. I couldn’t stand myself naked. I thought giving other people permission to determine whether I was beautiful or not – by any means – would make me love myself.
My standards of beauty began to change when I became intentional in what I consumed in the media. I no longer desired to be white or despised how dark I was. As my standards became more Afrocentric, I sabotaged myself by finding other problems. I wasn’t curvy or didn’t have breasts like the way the average African woman did. It felt like I won but was losing at the same time. So, I modelled at a life drawing class to try to love myself – one of the best things I did. I was so empowered to be standing in what I thought to be my most ugly and vulnerable state whilst watching others appreciate it as art.
7 months later I woke up to feeling no shame for my body or my face. It was sudden and unexpected, as quick as switching the light on. It was one of those moments where people tell you “you are beautiful” but it doesn’t matter unless you actually believe it – and I believed it.
Through my efforts to love this body I can say I’m happy naked, I love being a dark-skinned flat-chested black woman and I believe the words in my diary”
I hope my story can benefit somebody.