“I have been on a long journey with my self image since when I was a child desperate to fit in.
I have felt fat for a long time. I met my first son’s dad at just 17 and he broke what little confidence I had within myself and made me a shadow of what I could have been, feeling incomplete and ugly. I abused myself with starvation, drugs and alcohol.
I went from one violent relationship to another expecting nothing but put downs and beatings, all of which added to the depression which made me feel worthless. As my son was growing I had three miscarriages and longed for a baby. The miscarriages made me feel my body had no value. I tried to take my own life, no longer feeling like any one was benefiting from me being on this planet. But then when I hit rock bottom there was only one way to go.
Somehow I decided life was too short I wasn’t going to be treated like this anymore. I gave up taking drugs, I met daughters dad and fell pregnant again. This time when he started treating me badly I left. But I still had this hole inside and I realised it was a God shaped one. As my knowledge of Christianity grew it made me realize we are made like this, each line, each stretch mark, every curve every saggy bit, is what is intended. I found out who I am as my, now, three babies accompanied me on this journey.
I became unique and no longer a sheep to idealistic photo shopped bodies I see in the media. I embraced my womanhood. And in all this something amazing happened, I found the strength the desire to get healthy. I lost weigh but I am not trying to be thin so I look like the women in magazines. It’s so important my daughters learn to value a real image of womanhood and my son to see a woman at ease with herself and her imperfections. I have to be a strong role model, if I don’t love my body I cant expect my children to. “ -Syreeta
-Reporting and photography by A Beautiful Body Project photographer Leticia Valverdes.
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