Rarely do I hear or say my name, Alexandra, but I've always loved it. It's a very Greek name that has been passed down for generations in my family. When I just think about the name, I picture a beautiful and elegant woman that walks with confidence and grace. But, is that me?
I don't know if I am the most graceful, and I'm not sure how I feel about the description of "elegant," but I do know that I am beautiful and I am glad that I have found confidence. However, my journey to be able to say that I am beautiful has been a long one and there are still some days where my mind battles to believe that truth.
I've always been told that I have a lot of unique features. Unique is not a word that girls like during high school. Instead, girls want to fit in and look like famous models and actors. When I was only 14 I begged for a nose job and made an appointment with a plastic surgeon. I never noticed my nose was any different until kids starting pointing it out in school. They would ask how I broke it or say that I had a witch's nose...really mean things that still sting when I think about them. I ended up not getting a nose job more because I was afraid of anesthesia, but I'm really glad that I didn't.
There was also a day, and sadly, many days where I binged on food and then purged thinking that my curves weren't beautiful. Many tears have been shed over wishing my body looked different - even days where I didn't leave the house because nothing fit the way I thought it should. Terrible thoughts have plagued my mind and forced my eyes to stare at my stomach every time a mirror presented itself to check if it had gotten bigger or smaller. I would often put myself to sleep recounting what I ate and wake up planning my calories for the next.
Picking myself apart every day all while loving the fashion industry was very hard. It, honestly, was a big reason why I discouraged myself from pursuing fashion. You want to know something really interesting though? It was after I made the choice to become a stylist and really let myself be who I have been created to be that I found more self-confidence and appreciation for my body. It has ultimately been seeking the Truth in who I am and who I have been created to be that I have found freedom. Truth does set you free, and the truth is that I am beautifully made.
I love my curls, my hands, my lips, my teeth, my nose, my stomach, my mind, my creativity, my loyalty, my loud voice...I love everything. And, you know what my friends? I love my body even more after having a child.
I hope sharing my story helps and encourages you today. I've never publicly shared it before, and I guess it's in cyber space forever now, but I'm okay with that. There's power in sharing your life experiences. So, if you have any questions about my struggle with body image, please email me.