Midway by way of my freshman yr of highschool, it appeared like my physique utterly modified in a single day. Out of the blue, I had thicker thighs and a noticeably greater butt that I struggled to squeeze into my denims. The remainder of my physique remained slim and petite, however let’s simply say my booty actually popped. As I desperately appeared round for another person who was experiencing this awkward transformation, I spotted the opposite ladies in my class weren’t formed like me.
My physique grew to become a supply of all types of undesirable consideration. Whereas guys who barely checked out me earlier than sexualized my newfound curves, ladies who have been presupposed to be my pals shamed me. “Your butt is a lot greater than the remainder of your physique,” my pal identified, laughing, as I walked forward of her to the cafeteria. “It seems to be so bizarre and it jiggles if you stroll.” The phrases hit me like a ton of bricks. I used to be mortified. Whilst I write this so a few years later, I can nonetheless vividly recall how uncomfortable my 15-year-old self felt in her pores and skin.
Being Puerto Rican, I did not all the time get to see myself mirrored in popular culture, both. The one well-known Latina I felt like I might relate to was the multihyphenate and proudly Puerto Rican Jennifer Lopez. Ever since her breakout function in Selena — a significant accomplishment for a Latina actress within the ’90s — I gravitated towards her, not simply due to our shared heritage or the profitable businesswoman she shortly grew to become, but additionally due to her unwavering confidence, particularly when it got here to her curves. Let’s not overlook, Lopez’s physique kind wasn’t one which was celebrated in Hollywood on the time — and her butt shortly took on a lifetime of its personal.
Whether or not she was strolling the purple carpet, heading to the fitness center, or exhibiting off her epic dance strikes in “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” Lopez’s curves have been continuously the focus. Regardless of how obsessed information and TV shops have been with protecting her bottom, the star by no means tried to vary her physique or who she was — and whereas I am positive this took braveness, she made it appear easy. Sure, Lopez was usually praised for a way nice she appeared, however for years, she was singled out for merely dwelling in her physique, one thing that resonated with me as I walked the hallways of my highschool. Had we been extra uncovered to totally different styles and sizes within the media on the time, I do not assume this might have been the case. It simply goes to indicate how necessary on-screen illustration actually is.
For years, Lopez was singled out for merely dwelling in her physique, one thing that resonated with me as I walked the hallways of my highschool.
Lopez paved the best way for a technology and helped to flip my mindset when it got here to my very own physique. Because of her, I did not really feel so alone. Although my physique was scrutinized on a a lot smaller scale, in a approach I felt like she and I went by way of comparable experiences. It made me decided to let go of my insecurities and heal my bruised physique picture. My butt continued to be talked about all through the remainder of my time in highschool, however I finally stopped caring what others needed to say and discovered to like my physique because it was (I even spritzed myself with Glow, the star’s very first perfume, on the times I wanted to channel my interior J Lo).
As of late, curves are extra broadly seen as lovely and an even bigger butt is even the aim for a lot of, and there is not any denying Lopez’s affect in that. To me, she was and nonetheless is the definition of a job mannequin and deserves extra credit score for selling physique positivity earlier than it was ever a development on social media. Whereas it is unhappy to assume again on a time after I did not like my physique, I am endlessly grateful to Lopez for instructing me the best way to be pleased with who I’m and the place I am from. I went from throwing on a hoodie day by day to cover my determine to carrying no matter I appreciated, even when it occurred to intensify my booty. She was courageous sufficient to embrace her curves, and in time, she impressed me to do the identical.