I'll Never be Tall and Skinny.

I'll Never be Tall and Skinny.

As a child, I was spoon-fed this Western idea of beauty through the media: long legs, long (usually blonde) hair, abs, big boobs… the whole lot.  I agreed, these girls were absolutely gorgeous, but as a frizzy haired, black 5 year old, I believed that I could be exactly the same when I grew up.
As I grew older, I obviously became more aware that it wasn’t that easy… due to my cultural heritage my hair was never going to grow as quickly or the same texture (Even though my St Lucian side keeps it somewhat straight), and my ass was probably going to be a lot bigger than a lot of those girls.  However, it wasn’t until year 7 when we were discussing heights and one of my teachers mentioned that, based on the heights of my parents, I “probably didn’t have that much growing left”, that I realised that I was never going to be the tall, skinny girl I’d seen idolised again and again.
Society has definitely approved; the Kardashian’s brought with them a new found love for the “curvy” girl with the big ass, but, whether we like it or not, we’re not as “evolved” as we appear to be.  At the end of the day, white women with curves are still deemed more attractive and attention-worthy than black women, and the “ethnically ambiguous”, or “light skinned” are seen as more attractive and exotic than those with darker skin.  Though it’s nonsensical, people think these things without even trying, because it’s been ingrained in us for as long as I’ve been alive, at least.  
We’re so much better at claiming that “Everyone is beautiful” and taking everyone for what we are, but the truth is, I still see the tall skinny blonde girls on my timeline getting considerably more likes than a lot of people (me included) ever would.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m going to turn around and say “Stop being the perfect depiction of Western Beauty”, because at the end of the day, their genetics “lucked out”, and they’re at no fault for the way society perceives them.  It’s simply interesting to see that even as we evolve more, there’s still a long way to go. 
When I was younger and a lot more insecure, it would annoy me every so often that I was never the girl that guys would look at and think “wow”, I was never the girl with hundreds of likes on Instagram, and I was never that idolised version of beauty.  I’m proud of my culture and I’m proud of everything that I am, but when I was at the fragile age where all I wanted was approval from others, it was hard not to compare.
Essentially, I can put on makeup, wear cuter clothes, lose weight and dye my hair, but my genetics are still going to make me “curvier”, I’m always going to be shorter than average (Although apparently I’m at the cusp of average now?!) and my hair will always be frizzier at my roots.
I’m never going to fit the Western image of beauty.  But that’s okay.
I am very happy with my looks now, because I’ve come to that level of acceptance.  I have long curly eyelashes (thanks Dad, sorry Mum), I like my face (most of the time) and though my hair will never probably reach my ankles, it’s mine and I like that it’s different.  With the emergence of Black Panther, I feel like I’ve been provided with a whole new range of strong, beautiful women that are more inspirational for me, and I didn’t realise how motivational and emotional that would be for me.
This isn’t just about race; there are a lot of Caucasian people that are still not that tall, curvy “beautiful” image that is forced upon us from our youth, and I’m sure that some of them have gone through the same sort of struggle.  Even those who do fit this image probably still have their insecurities, or feel a need to live up to it.  In reality, we’re all just plodding along trying to make the best of what we have, and that’s okay.
Everyone is beautiful, and whilst we do understand that, we still subconsciously favour a certain type of beauty.  But that’s fine, and we’re growing slowly and surely.  I may never be that type of beautiful, but I am my own type of beautiful, and I love it.  It just all comes with acceptance.
I’d love to know what you think, as this is quite a personal one for me.  Let me know in the comments!
Lots of love,
Jas xx
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44 Comments

  1. March 18, 2018 / 9:53 am

    You are beautiful!
    I was a lot thinner when I was younger and I hated it. I’m now a lot fatter and don’t like it! I’ll never be tall blonde thin with big boobs but I’m having to accept that too. My body has changed I’ve got older and my husband finds me beautiful I just wish I did. I suppose it’s all about confidence. Women need to support other women too.

    • March 18, 2018 / 9:55 am

      Thank you so much! Yes I think a lot of it comes down to confidence, which can be hard to come by! We just all need to support eachother!
      Jas xx

  2. March 18, 2018 / 9:55 am

    Oh I’ll never be tall nor skinny either and I fully embrace it. It’s who I am, curvy & a short arse and I love it. I may as well, it does absolutely no harm to love what you are.

    • March 18, 2018 / 10:02 am

      “It does absolutely no harm to love who you are” – I love that!
      Jas xx

      • March 18, 2018 / 10:33 am

        Thanks Jas. I decided this a few years back & stuck to it x

  3. March 18, 2018 / 9:59 am

    It takes time to realise that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and media doesn’t help with what they project.
    I know I’ll never be tall and slim, and my curls will never be straight, unless I battle with straightening irons for an hour (can’t be bothered!) but I like who I am and what I look like, because I am me!
    Jas you are gorgeous just how you are, and just remember that!

    • March 18, 2018 / 10:03 am

      Thank you so much Ritu! I completely understand that now, but it definitely took some time!
      Jas xx

  4. March 18, 2018 / 12:31 pm

    True beauty radiates from within. People who are kind, compassionate and smile at the world they give off a beauty second to none. If you are just currently society idea of beauty but not beautiful within it will show. You are a gorgeous young woman – embrace it as that will show.

  5. March 18, 2018 / 2:10 pm

    This is a secret, but when I was small I used to secretly wish I would wake up one day with coloured eyes, rather than boring brown ones. All my family are dark skinned except my penultimate-to youngest brother, who was born light skinned with very fair hair – something he got from my paternal grandmother. It is so odd, but he would always get stared at when we would go out, mostly because we lived in a country where most people were not white. Always, the idea that the lighter skinned you are, the more beautiful you are, has been perpetuated. Not just in the media, even in some cultures, like the Pakistani culture and the Arab culture (part of my heritage). Once I was sitting with an aunt, in Morocco, and her 5 year old granddaughter rushed in laughing with her cousins. She was a little stunner, so so gorgeous, with dark skin and frizzy black hair, very thick and tied back in a braid, and the largest dark eyes fringed with the most luscious lashes, and I couldn’t help myself, I exclaimed, ‘She is so stunning!’. And my aunt laughed and said, ‘yes but she is so black!’. I was so shocked, her OWN granddaughter and she, who loves her so much, saw her colour as something negative. It’s sort of ingrained into these cultures. I did give my aunt a piece of my mind, because that is so damaging for the little girl. She is beautiful, and more so because of who exactly she is and what exactly she looks like! I like how you struck home the idea that we are all beautiful just as we are. That is exactly is. JUST as we are – if we were any different, we wouldn’t be ourselves!

    • March 18, 2018 / 2:33 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing this because honestly it’s put what I was trying to get across into such clear words! It’s so sad that even within cultures we see lighter skin as more attractive. With time we will all change, but it may take a while.
      Jas xx

  6. March 18, 2018 / 2:23 pm

    What a great post. Love what you say and looking at your profile pic you look pretty cool to me.

  7. March 18, 2018 / 2:26 pm

    I am tall. I have always been tall, taller than all the girls around me. For years I was told that I was too tall. I couldn’t find any jeans that would fit me for years. The boys and then men were always my height or shorter, and most did not have the confidence to date a woman taller than they were. But, now that I live in Germany, I am no longer too tall, it’s a country full of people my height! I was just born in the wrong place apparently. I did learn to love being tall long before I moved here, but it was a process.

    • March 18, 2018 / 2:36 pm

      It’s so strange that different cultures/countries have different perceptions of beauty, as it really furthers our insecurities! I’m glad that you’re more comfortable now, we all deserve to feel comfortable!
      Jas xx

      • March 18, 2018 / 2:39 pm

        In the US, it really depends on where you live as to what is determined to be beautiful. It’s very strange. I have curly hair, and everyone wanted to straighten it where I lived, they couldn’t believe that I would wear it natural. They I moved to another area of the country, and everyone LOVED my curly hair. You just have to learn to love yourself, no matter what because others will always have their own issues to deal with.

  8. March 18, 2018 / 3:11 pm

    Let’s start by saying that I looked at your profile picture and you are beautiful. But that’s not what this post is about, it’s about what our cultures tell us is beautiful. When I worked in the corporate world, I worked with a lot of black women who spent hours having their hair straightened to look like a more “acceptable European” style. One of the Supervisors that worked for me looked gorgeous in her natural afro style, but when we were taking professional pictures for LinkedIn, wouldn’t take the picture until she had her hair straightened into what she considered a more “professional” look. She told me that black women in corporate American needed to make their hair “fit into” a more corporate look in order to get ahead. One of the things I liked best about Black Panther is the beauty of all of the hairstyles without the chemical processing that black women usually go through. Maybe it’s the beginning of a hair-volution?

  9. March 19, 2018 / 3:55 pm

    I feel like I always want what I can’t have. When I was super thin, I thought I was not skinny enough, and now that I’ve gained a lot more weight since then, I look back and wonder how I thought I wasn’t thin enough. To some extent, it’s a mental thing. I’m quite short, but luckily that’s something that never bothered me ( I have plenty more insecurities that get in the way of that). You are so correct, social media, and the constant ability to compare yourself is dangerous and can make you feel beyond shitty, at some point, you just gotta accept yourself. Great post love xxx
    Melina | http://www.ivefoundwaldo.com

    • March 19, 2018 / 8:58 pm

      Thank you so much! I have the exact same thing – I look back at myself and wonder why I ever thought I wasn’t thin enough. Hopefully we can all get to the acceptance!
      Jas xx

  10. March 21, 2018 / 11:31 pm

    I never thought I would be that person who starts to see social media in a bad way, but I honestly start comparing myself to people and become obsessed with looks without even realising. It’s so weird though because I don’t care about what I look like anymore. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing? As an asian growing up in a pretty much all white community (and luckily in my area everyone is so SO lovely), I kind of forget that I’m of a different ethnicity? I don’t know if that makes any sense, but it does in my head haha
    Aleeha xXx
    http://www.halesaaw.co.uk/

    • March 22, 2018 / 11:13 am

      Yeah i know what you mean, I grew up in private school and everyone was friendly so I didn’t notice either. It wasn’t til I grew older that I started to realise more!
      Jas xx

  11. March 23, 2018 / 9:01 pm

    I can relate to you about this. I’m happy that you’re happy with who you are and hey, we’re all beautiful! Just because there are standards doesn’t mean it’s make it or break it! Go you for being yourself!
    exquisitely.me

    • March 23, 2018 / 9:04 pm

      Thank you! It’s true – we’re all beautiful regardless of standards!
      Jas xx

  12. March 23, 2018 / 9:15 pm

    This was so crazy for me to read because as a white kid growing up, all I wanted was darker skin so that I could be more like Tyra Banks and Beyonce! I used to be quite pale (before I started holidaying more and tanning) and hated it! I think the grass is always greener- however many good qualities we have, we’re critical of ourselves and focus on the things that we don’t like as much! I love that this was all about acceptance though, such a great post!- https://sophiehearts.net x

    • March 23, 2018 / 9:18 pm

      Thank you so much, and honestly that’s really interesting to hear! I guess that’s life really – and honestly it’s great that we’re able to find the beauty in people that are so different to ourselves. As long as we also practice self-acceptance, it’s great 🙂
      Jas xx

  13. March 23, 2018 / 9:43 pm

    What a lovely post to read! I am so glad you’re much more accepting of yourself now because you’re honestly such a stunning girl and I’d hate for you to think any different! I fit the stereotype in some ways in that I’m white and blonde but never in my life have I been tall or thin and I never will be! I’ve learned to like the bit of extra weight I carry and am slowly learning to accept the naturally wider shoulders and stubbier legs – haha! As much as body confidence and acceptance is important, I know that I’m a lot more interesting on the inside anyway!
    Alice Xx
    http://www.blacktulipbeauty.co.uk

    • March 23, 2018 / 10:05 pm

      This is such a lovely comment Alice, thank you! Yes, I feel like there will always be something that we think could be “better”, but we’re absolutely gorgeous the way that we are!
      Jas xx

  14. March 24, 2018 / 3:50 am

    Girl, please. You are beautiful!! Do you and live by YOUR standards.
    In all honesty, I can relate to how you felt though – growing up, I wanted thinner legs, straighter hair, you get me but at some point, I realized – hey, I am beautiful regardless of what society says. I know I still have a long way to go when it comes to self-love but hey, it’s something. Thanks for sharing!
    cabin twenty-four

    • March 24, 2018 / 9:31 am

      Thank you so much for commenting! Yeah, it just takes a while to be comfortable with yourself 🙂
      Jas xx

  15. March 24, 2018 / 11:55 pm

    Wow this really hit home for me. It’s interesting, I’m extremely pale and I feel like growing up everyone always idolised the girls with the tanned skin that I’d never have. I’m blonde, blue eyed and thin but I’m 5ft 0 inches and mt height has always been a huge insecurity for me. It sucks knowing it’s something you can never change! I’m glad you feel more positive about yourself now though because you’re stunning! As long as you’re happy in your own body, that’s all that matters x
    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

    • March 25, 2018 / 3:16 am

      I’m so glad you felt you could relate to this. And you’re so right! All that matters is being happy in your own body!
      Jas xx

  16. March 26, 2018 / 5:13 pm

    Fab, fab, fab post Jasmine!! This post needs to be shared with teen and young women everywhere. I have shared the link on my regular PainPals feature Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! C x

  17. April 11, 2018 / 11:35 am

    I’m a short white blonde girl and absolutely do not fit this stereotype either! You are beautiful and I’m glad you’re beginning to see that, despite what is constantly depicted on the media! Xxx

    • April 11, 2018 / 11:46 am

      Thank you so much! We’re all beautiful, regardless of the stereotype <3
      Jas xx

      • April 11, 2018 / 11:56 am

        Couldn’t have said it better myself! Your blog is brilliant, I’m really enjoying reading it! xxx

  18. April 22, 2018 / 10:07 pm

    This really touched me. I have always felt self conscious about how I look, especially because of my height, I’m 4’11 and I’ve been 4’11 since forever. Every time someone sees me it’s like they have never seen a short girl before like whatt. I would have to deal with people thinking I’m lying about my age and asking me “why are you so short?”. As if I control my height. Then when it comes to my body, I have been skinny for a longgggg time. I want to gain weight and get a little thicker but no matter how much I eat and drink lol I just don’t gain weight. But I’m fine with my lil curves and such. I learned to love myself no matter what.

    • April 22, 2018 / 10:15 pm

      That’s exactly what we all need to do – learn to love ourselves no matter what! If you ask me, 4″11 is a very cute height!
      Jas xx

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