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Childhood memories are vivid, almost indescribable in their detail, and impossible to forget. A Christmas memory I have is that of a black velvet dress  a family friend gave to me for my seventh Christmas.
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A Beauty All Your Own

Submitted by on July 2, 2011 – 5:13 am12 Comments

Miami Beach skyline by Latina-ish

Ed. Note: This essay is part of the series, Accepting the Self: Latinas on Body Image. To enjoy the full series, please read the introduction.

tracy lopez latinaishBy Tracy López

I’m in paradise, poolside at one of the most exclusive hotels in Miami Beach.

It’s before 8 a.m., so keeping me company is one lone swimmer doing lazy laps and the staff straightening pillows in the cabanas – making sure all is ready for their still-sleeping guests.

The sunrise casts a warm glow on the skyscrapers and palmas across the bay – a postcard perfect skyline view.

Because this is paradise, in the next hour or so, flawless bikini girls will begin to claim the pristine lounge chairs beneath the canvas umbrellas where they will soak up the sun along with piropos.

For someone like me who does not usually merit gawks of desire or envy – this is the type of situation that would usually throw me into a tailspin of jealousy and self-consciousness – but I’ve decided, not today.

Today, though I’m not any thinner, younger or more stunning than I was yesterday – I’m letting go.

I’m letting go of the celos. I’m letting go of the excuses that keep me from reaching my fullest potential. I’m letting go of the regret for being fated with the genes that make me who I am.

If I’m going to regret anything, it’s the years I’ve wasted not loving myself – the years wasted comparing and self-criticizing – because exclusive hotel in Miami or not, every morning that we are lucky enough to wake to a new day full of possibilities, is a day in paradise. And every person – bikini body or not – possesses a beauty all their own.

Tracy López is a writer living outside the D.C. Metro area. Her blog, Latinaish.com, examines cultural differences she discovers as she navigates life in a bicultural, bilingual family. She can also be reached via Twitter @Latinaish.

Latinas on Body Image

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