A Beauty All Your Own

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

Share, por favor!

By Contributor on July 2, 2011 · Posted in the habla habla

12 Comments | Post Comment

Monica says:

I think we often hold ourselves back with our envy. We need to just quit wanting what everyone else has and concentrate on what we do have. Happiness is a choice.

Good post, Tracy…

Posted on July 2nd, 2011

Joscelyn @ MamiofMultiples.com says:

Women tend to compare themselves all the time to each other and also to what we once looked like (pre-kids). We should always remember to love your bodies that we demand so much from. Great essay series! Thanks Tracy for sharing.

Posted on July 2nd, 2011

Tara Castillo says:

Love this. I too have started letting go. I am me and happy to be me!

Posted on July 2nd, 2011

Ericka says:

Great post Tracy. I’m still trying to accept the physical person I’ve become after the birth of my son. Some days are tougher than others, but I’m getting there. Not everything is going to get back to it’s original place as before but I love being a mom and I wouldn’t give that up for anything :)

Posted on July 2nd, 2011

Bren says:

congrats to you laying in MB where everyone is pretty, with no flaws (full of plasticity) and still love yourself just like you are…. there ARE men that don’t like flacas—but that doesn’t matter. It’s about you letting go. And what better way to do that than in Miami where self-consciousness is heightened!

Posted on July 2nd, 2011

Julie Diaz Asper says:

Self acceptance is very attractive I think! So you are rocking that pool scene..Great post!

Posted on July 3rd, 2011

Tracy says:

Thanks, Julie! Agree that self acceptance/confidence is where it’s at. (Plus a smile makes anyone look more beautiful!)

Posted on July 4th, 2011

Tracy says:

Miami Beach was a new world to me. Never felt more self conscious in my life, (except maybe middle school dances. LOL.)

You’re right, not all men like flacas. Gracias a Dios, my husband likes me gordita just the way I am.

Thanks for your comment, Bren.

Posted on July 4th, 2011

Tracy says:

Ericka – this is a daily struggle for me. One day I may come to the freeing conclusion I did in this post, and other days I don’t. The important thing is to at least keep striving towards self-acceptance.

(And motherhood definitely is worth the scars that come with it.)

Posted on July 4th, 2011

Tracy says:

You definitely aren’t afraid to be you. I remember your post about wearing the flower in your hair. Love that.

Posted on July 4th, 2011

Tracy says:

I like that phrasing – that we demand so much of our bodies. We’re rather unfair in our demands and expectations I think! … Thanks for your comment, Joscelyn.

Posted on July 4th, 2011

Tracy says:

“…quit wanting what everyone else has and concentrate on what we do have…” – is something I try to practice daily. Wise consejos, amiga.

Posted on July 4th, 2011