My Mother was the Beauty Queen of Jalisco, Mexico. She was very young and was swept up off her feet by the Son of one of the wealthiest families in the region. It didn’t turn out to be a happy ending to her fairy tale and experienced much abuse and violence. After repeated rapes, incarcerated in her own home with her first child she found the strength to fight and get away after he threw my sister against the wall (she was under 1 year old.) Thankfully she survived and my Mother later found out she was pregnant with me – a product from the many rapes she endured. She was unable to bond with me and gave me to her eldest Sister who was unable to have children.
Is it sheer will and spirit that has taken me to this point in my amazing life? I’m sure it has a lot to do with my survival but I also had beacons of light who helped guide and replenish me when I most needed it. I’m thankful for such individuals that some I have claimed as family and others remained as kind strangers I’ve never had the chance to connect with or see again. We all have them, just look around you and you’ll see the magic at work.
Needless to say that I was my worst critique and most especially on my body. I remember my first recollections of being told by my parents, family and community how fat I was… If I wasn’t fat I’d be pretty… and the ever present “your Mom was a beauty queen, I don’t understand why you’re not as pretty as she.”
Talk about tough! None of these comments helped in any way. As I gathered the photo albums I could to complete this post I look at that little girl in the pictures and DON’T see fat. I really don’t know what all these people are talking about! Seriously, I was a healthy little girl – pretty – kind – smart – talented and amazing. I wasn’t thin but I look normal and most of all BEAUTIFUL.
I see my Daughter’s face in most all of my pictures. It brings sadness to my eyes to think back on all the insecurities and pain I carried even as a tiny little thing. All I wanted to be is loved no matter how ugly, fat or anything else I was told I was.
My family didn’t believe in t.v., cable or magazines. Growing up in the late 70’s and 80’s it was a good and bad thing when in came to my peers. Was I behind the times wooh! Yet the people around me, including doctors, made it very clear that I was “over weight/fat.” I don’t think I’ve EVER been anything but that label. I was an avid athlete and had no health issues… not one. Yet this “fat” had me branded as someone with a HUGE problem. It became much more poignant a label when we were weighed in front of class mates and told just how “Fat” I really was. Ugh!
My fashion style was non-existent for most of my life. My family wasn’t supportive and rarely purchased stylish clothes for me. I designed and made my own graduation dresses with the help of my Aunt that is a seamstress. My normal style during these years was tights and over sized shirts. I wanted to hide for various reasons. I didn’t feel comfortable with my body and my hair was all the way to my knees and couldn’t do the styles at the time. Then having 3 rape attempts from the age of 12-15 was enough to not want to be noticed by anyone!
Well life continued and wore what I call the “fat glasses.” It didn’t matter how curvy and beautiful I was at ANY point of my life… I just didn’t see it -(and STILL have a hard time seeing it). My self esteem was run to the ground and any time anyone showed interest I ran the other way. Finally I decided it was long past time I started dating and getting over this “running” problem. I was 24 when I met my ex-husband and 26 when I married him.
Through those years he loved me and made me shed a little off of the “fat glasses.” Soon as I was about to unfold my wings he clipped them and started his mental abuse. I had my children and was very busy with our businesses and my ailing parents. He fell lower on my priority list and lashed out with more verbal abuse and it just went down hill from there.
A short time after that I decided I needed to figure my worth on my own. I was too smart and a pretty amazing human being and can’t possibly be the awful person I was told I was. So I STOPPED listening and started my journey. I was 35 years old when I finally found THAT “me.” The Me that felt strong, beautiful and embraced all that was “different” from me and everything/everybody else. There’s lots of bumps in that road and even today I continue to reach deep in me every day/minute/second – for that empowerment – and TELLING myself that:
I… AM… BEAUTIFUL. BEAUTIFUL… MY way.
There are not many photos to share of my life. I HATED taking pictures to the point that it made me violently ill. Many I lost during our years of being homeless and poor. When my own Daughter started battling her eating disorder I pushed myself in front of that camera. I couldn’t tell her to LOVE herself and BE strong if I myself was lacking. I wanted her to see that beauty and strength comes in all forms and most importantly in her own Mother!
For my current fashion I deem as: Classy – Punk
I love the retro eras of fashion and mix in some studs, chains, spikes. It is a true representation of myself. I also like faux leather, latex and bright colors. I’m quite extreme in the spectrum of fashion and like to push my own boundaries whenever possible.
I still get nervous and sometimes ill during shoots. I face my fear every time but practice makes perfect and it’s helped my children, myself and many of my readers for doing so. THANK YOU for giving ME the strength to continue to do so. Remember to continue to support our work and the many more bloggers and activists out there that open up their own lives and experiences to share with others that are on this same path of: HEALING and EMPOWERING.
Is a STAND.. an ACTION… A STEP towards self love and strength. Strength to GAIN and SHARE with others that need and reach for it. We are a group of bloggers brought together by the CALL to join and continue in this MOVEMENT that is direly needed.
JOIN US and be part of strength, beauty and love. LOVE for ourselves, each other and the many out there searching for it. Tag your photos and posts with this hash tag. BODY LOVE is UNCONDITIONAL no matter WHAT SIZE, SHAPE or FORM we all are FORTUNATE to have.
Comment on our posts, pictures and words all over social media. FOLLOW and SUPPORT us and GUIDE us to what YOU want and need to see and hear. The following is the list of bloggers that have written on this first subject of the year long journey we have committed to complete. We are from all walks of life and various parts of the world yet we sing with the same voice and TOGETHER we are stronger to be heard.
OLGA GONZALEZ RAMOS
Aarti Olivia Dubey
Josephine JosoFabulous Lee