We are repeatedly told to love and accept our bodies, yet we’re sold a bill of sale for surgical enhancements to make us look and feel better about ourselves. These contradictory messages are offensive and confusing to the average woman.

To add insult to injury, women are bombarded with body shame on a daily basis, and it seems the list of faults is endless. We’re told we’re too fat, too thin, have too many curves, not enough curves, too tall, too short, hair is too long or not long enough, and we need fake nails along with eyelash extensions. If that isn’t enough of an offence, the size of our breasts and buttocks are routinely compared to magazine starlets.

Would someone please this STOP INSANITY since body goals are personal to each individual, and we should not be lumped into one category or described as one size fits all?

We are always too hasty to judge a person based on their appearance. Self-expression is a beautiful thing, but we cannot all be a size zero or three. We have different body types, but we are all attractive in our own way if you’re able to see beyond the image noise.

Although a little overweight, I was comfortable with my body. I grew up bathing in the river with my family. I cannot count the number of people who have seen me naked back in Grenada.

When I moved to Canada, the self-image I saw was different from the way I actually looked. I desperately wanted to fit in and resemble the other girls. Then, I overheard a friend talking about another friend being a stripper, and a light bulb went off in my head. I knew at that moment I wanted to become a stripper.

I needed to lose weight rapidly to become a stripper, but I became bulimic to achieve that goal. After that, I never pursued my stripper dreams because of the fear of embarrassment it would cause my father and my family in Grenada. I didn’t want to bring shame to my mother’s eyes.

I was being sexualized daily because of my body and the way I looked. This obsession was scary and frightening at times, while Facebook and Instagram added fuel to the body image fire.

Women routinely undergo surgical treatments and put their lives at risk trying to attain the perfect body. I’m tired of explaining to everyone that my body is all-natural without the need to undergo any surgical enhancements. My cheeks are not filled with plastics, my lips are not filled with fillers, and my breasts are not filled with silicone or saline.

I didn’t want to bring shame to my mother’s eyes.

I have all my ribs, and my buttocks are not filled with fat transferred from another part of my body. I have a belly button, and I sure as hell never had a tummy tuck. The only promise I made to myself was the moment I had the money, I would fix my smile with dental implants.

The accusations about my body image are false. I am not against plastic surgery. You have the right to do any enhancement that makes you feel good about yourself. For me, it’s diet, using exercise to sculpt my body.

Don’t let perfect body pictures, social media, or anyone else dictate how you should look or see yourself. You can reject today’s fake version of what a woman’s body should look like to the world.

Are you comfortable in your skin? Do you accept your flaws, scars, and the way you were created? Remember that you are beautiful just as you are, and stop trying to destroy other people’s body image race. They have already won by just being themselves.