I Can’t Wait

Karina Garcia Rodriguez, I Can't Wait

I can’t wait.

I can’t wait until I know my full worth. I can’t wait until I can look in the mirror and see an independent, HAPPY, confident woman. Someone who doesn’t look at calories everytime they eat, or feel disgusted after a meal out. 

“I think you’ve had enough.”

“Keep eating like that and you’ll stay gorda.”

“Why do you want more? Where is it even gonna go?”

All things I would constantly hear growing up in a Hispanic household. I remember waking up to the smell of bacon and French toast at my aunt’s on a summer morning, not knowing whether to get up and be the first at the table or lay in bed and wait to not seem like I “never got fed.”  From as far as I can remember my family has always seen me as the “fat one,” “the one that eats like she was never fed.” I was never the one known for my sports, education, or simply just my manners. 

Since the beginning of time, women have been looked at to be pretty in the face and skinny in the waist. Nothing more and nothing less. 

We were told to “only speak when spoken to.”

“Never sit with your legs not crossed.”

“NEVER eat too much or you’ll be bloated.” 

“Dress appropriately, never show too much or they’ll look at you as if you have no self respect.”

Ugh. I can’t wait. I can’t wait until they finally get their heads out of their a**** and see that no matter my weight, no matter the way I sit or what I wear, IT WILL NEVER determine the woman I AM. Nor the education that I have. 

When you look at me, what do you see? A red-haired little girl, dimples in my cheeks when I smile too wide, freckles all over my bright red cheeks? Or do you see my hips moving when I walk in tight clothes, my belly that is flat until iIsit down, my lips that are not small enough for you to comment, but not plump enough to meet beauty standards. When I look in the mirror, I see all of that and more. 

When I look in the mirror, I also see a scared young woman. Scared that doesn’t meet beauty standards. Scared that her nose is too big or that her clothes aren’t loose enough. I will always see more than they do.

I just can’t wait. I can’t wait to be me.