I had first heard “As delicate as a flower” during a simile lesson in my 2nd grade English class. At the time, it felt normal to say that a girl was “As delicate as a flower”, but now I’ve become to despise the phrase. In my mind the phrase means that a girl (or woman) is supposed to be a flower in bloom. She is supposed to be beautiful and delicate while dependent on several factors in order to grow. These kinds of women are considered to be the most desirable despite all the other things that make women amazing.
Growing up I never felt delicate or beautiful because I have always been bigger than most girls, and when you are a kid it is difficult to understand because all you want to be is like the other kids. In all honesty, my 11 years of schooling made it seem that body positivity was impossible to find. I have always struggled with diets and exercise, but by the end of February 2017 I had given up. Flash forward two years later, I find out that I have borderline high cholesterol, and I have to see a nutritionist.
Right before the quarantine shutdown began, I had just met my nutritionist for the first time and I was terrified. I had always hated talking about my weight, I hated thinking about how much of a disappointment I was to myself because of how bad my health had gotten, but most of all I hated that I had not ever sought out help, and for the first couple of months it was rough. Coronavirus was shaking up my entire lifestyle. I had AP exams and online school was a mess and I could no longer go to work, and by the end of June I felt like I there was no balance between school and my own health. However, in July, I changed my entire diet and became a Peloton fanatic. I started to eat way differently than I ever had before and began to exercise like a mad woman, and only a month later I have lost 10 pounds, my skin is totally clear, and I haven’t had any digestive problems for a month. In other words it’s been life changing. Besides the physical attributes, I have also become more confident. I am more open in discussing my health and other health topics along with uncomfortable political conversations. But if I even lose the amount of weight I want to lose, I know I’ll never be a delicate flower even if I physically look like one. Through my emotional growth I know that I cannot just stand to the side anymore, and I can’t be this quiet, fat girl in the back of the class. In the end I guess I have to kind of thank quarantine because it has taught me how strong I am, how goal driven I can be, and that I can do anything through the help and support of my family, friends, and doctors.
So for those who feel like that society’s picture of a woman or a girl being as delicate as a flower, the photoshopped models, and social media’s influence is overpowering, cast it aside. You are beautiful and confident, and if you have to go through some crazy journey to find it do it. This crazy time is a great reminder that we should never waste a moment of our lives and never take it for granted because we only have a short time on this Earth and we should relish every moment.