My Body, My Way: Meet Shazarah

My Body, My Way is a series dedicated to promoting healthy body images among women. If you’d like to join, please feel free to e-mail me at: chardelaroche@gmail.com.

Age: 20

Ethnicity: West Indian

Occupation: Student

Describe your body type: Petite

What makes a woman beautiful to you?

I think all women are beautiful in their own way, even if they don’t know it. But I believe that once a woman truly accepts her body as it is and carries about herself confidently, she immediately becomes even more beautiful. I once had a friend tell me that once you firmly believe that you are beautiful, everyone will think so too. I believe confidence has the ability to completely outshine any flaws, whether it be stretch marks or acne.

 

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Have you ever dealt with body image issues? How did you handle it? Or how are you handling it?

I have always been told that I have an unusually large nose. It has been an ongoing family joke where relatives will either call me ‘big nose girl’, pinch my nose or say that I’m adopted. (both my father’s and mother’s side of the family has skinny, straight and pointy noses whereas mine is big and round). I became very self-conscious and up to this day I actively avoid pictures as much as I can. I developed serious self-esteem issues and I would hardly go to parties or anything social, since hiding your nose is a lot harder than hiding something like belly fat or stretch marks. I began walking with my head down so those passing won’t see my nose and even considered getting a nose job (my mother said she’ll pay for it herself).

Although, I would love to say that I love my nose and I don’t care what others say, I can’t. For now, a nose job is something I am definitely looking forward to. I try my best to embrace my nose for how it is and will continue to do so and build my confidence until the day I can fix my nose. Who knows! Maybe in the process of learning how to love myself, one day I’ll decide that I’m gonna keep my nose as it is.

How do you celebrate your body?

Initially, I always associated body positivity and self-love with dressing up and looking pretty all the time but now I realize that having ‘pretty’ insides is just as important, if not more! What I put IN my body will eventually come out. So I started eating better and staying hydrated and now instead of putting on make up to make my skin glow, it naturally looks healthy and radiant!

Who are some of your favorite female icons?Why?

I really love M.I.A (singer and artist) Coming from a South Asian background, there’s this idea that you must be girly and dainty, and having a fair complexion is a plus. I love how M.I.A disregards those stereotypes and ideologies and embraces her skin and adopts a very earthy, rough and unconventional style.

*The words expressed belong solely to this individual.

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Charde' LaRoche

growing.

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