You Be YOU, part II

I’m 36, 5’0 tall and very curvaceous. My niece, Jayelle, is 14, almost 6 ft. tall and as thin as a rail. I stopped growing up, but not out at twelve; at fourteen and almost 6 ft. tall, she is still growing upPPP. Suffice it to say that I am shaped like most black women (junk in the trunk, big thighs, etc..). My niece is not. She hates being tall and thin. She mentioned this the other day when my husband and I were taking her to school.

What do we have in common? The fact that at 14 we both hate(d) ourselves.

This is our conversation:

Me: “Do you want to be short like me, Jayelle?” I asked

Jayelle: “Yes,” she said.

Me: “Can you be short like me?”

Jayelle: “No.” she sadly replied.

Me: “So, are you wasting your time wishing for that? Is that even a realistic wish?” I asked.

Jayelle: Yes to the first one. No to the second. (Me paraphrasing).

Me: So stop wasting your time. You only get one YOU. You are almost 6 ft. tall. You cannot change that. You can’t be short like me; as much as you want to, you just can’t. So you have to stop wasting your time hating yourself. You HAVE to love you. You have to be YOU. You are the only YOU you will ever have. Start loving you.

I know that it went in one ear and out the other. Heck, it probably didn’t even go in. Nothing that anybody told me when I was younger sank in until I was much older.

According to Hollywood standards of beauty, I would definitely not fit into the beautiful category since I wear a size 12 and I’m only 5 ft. tall. But you know what, you can’t tell me nuthin’. I know that I am all of that. I can only wish that she grows to have the confidence that I have now. It took me a while to get here though. But she has one thing that I didn’t have at this age- an older, wiser, caring, loving, beautiful auntie like me.