Toward a better body image

MY EARLIEST MEMORY OF HAVING A NEGATIVE BODY IMAGE is when I was seven or eight years old. At school we were learning about shapes. One day the teacher asked three girls, including me, to stand in front of the class. She pointed out that each of us had different shapes of lips. Carol's lips were thin, Candy's were medium, and mine were full, she observed matter of factly.

While she didn't intend to imply anything unfavorable about any of us, I was embarrassed. To me, full lips meant big lips. Although it had never occurred to me before, at that moment I wished I had medium lips like Candy. She was pretty and just the right shape in every way, I thought, while I was stocky. I didn't like that fact emphasized by my being singled out as having full lips.

'What shall we eat?'
June 23, 2003

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