By: Shyanne Riberal-Norton

Being a shy introvert, going out on a Friday nights are pretty much an unheard of event. My roommates and friends have always tried to convince me to partake in the weekend partying, by bribing, pleading and even the occasional blackmail. But rarely do I indulge them, which is why I found myself standing in front of a haphazard closet with absolutely no clothes to wear on this particular weekend’s bar crawl.

Depressed and embarrassed in the doorway of my friends’ room, like a child looking for comfort from their parents after a bad dream, I begged for help in finding suitable clothes.

In my desperation, I failed to realize they were about a size 2, and I was…. not. I tried on a few shirts that were much too tight, and when we came across a shirt that was much too scandalous for my taste, but seemed to please the room, I heard someone say “Wow, you’re so lucky you have such big boobs. I’m so jealous!”

Growing up, my grandmother always said that the women in our family were shaped like an “S”. I brushed it off as just some crazy thing she always said… until I hit puberty. Then suddenly it wasn’t so crazy but instead an unfortunate truth of my genes. My confidence in my body decreased because I was too young to appreciate what was given to me. I would pine over how other people looked, obsess over having small assets and worried constantly about fitting in.

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As I entered high school, I gained a little bit of confidence. I found my style, found clothes that I could be comfortable in. I got used to the back pain, the expensive cute bras and the ugly cheap ones. But really, during this time I was getting used to who I was, my personality and finding myself. It was a tough road full of ups and downs, mostly downs. I realized I’d never be able to online shop for jeans, shift dresses looked like more of a tent and don’t even get me started on sports bras.

But by the time I entered college, I was fully confident in who I was and I realized that my body isn’t a reflection of my character. It was okay for me to express myself with clothing that I would have never thought of before. And who I was, is meant for celebration not discomfort.

When I heard those words, “you’re so lucky” it brought forth a complete mix of emotions that I was unprepared for. I wouldn’t have used the word lucky, maybe... ‘cursed’ or ‘condemned with,’ but not lucky (kidding). But what really stuck out was the fact that she was jealous. Yes, I’ve completely embraced my body, but to go as far and say that someone was envious, was a big shocker.

And honestly it made me sad.

I remember being 12 years old hating my genes and battling my own jealous feelings towards my thinner friends. Never in a million would I want someone to feel that way about themselves. So I said something that I wish I could have told my younger self.

“You’re lucky because you’re you”