Stop body shaming! - Teen encourages women to embrace the appearance of others
MORANT BAY, St Thomas:
It was an eagerness for self-acceptance that led Nevonnie Pinnock to enter and later win the title as Miss Teen St Thomas 2017.
The 17-year-old resident of Lyssons, told Rural Xpress that she was not always proud of her physique.
"I am slim and some persons may view that as an ideal body type, but I wasn't quite comfortable. However it's my body and I have to learn to love and accept it. I saw the pageant as a good way to build my self-esteem and self-confidence," she said, adding that she became more comfortable with the fact that Miss Teen is a cultural competition and not necessarily a beauty pageant. Pinnock admitted that she has, in the past, fallen victim to body-shaming.
According to her: "Oftentimes persons may just do it jokingly, depending on my mood it may hurt my feeling, but on most occasions I laugh about it since I'm growing to appreciate who I am.
I had become self-conscious and sad on occasions, but I remembered that it's basically impossible to please everyone so I decided to be me and to be happy. That brought about the optimism.
I may want to look like another female, have some of her curves, but she may not feel comfortable with who she sees in the mirror and she may very well face the same issues I do. Being in the competition with the ladies highlighted that as well."
Pinnock, who is a lower sixth form student at St George's College, explained that her friends have always encouraged her to be confident in her abilities and use the competition as a medium to inspire others.
All about acceptance
"My advice to girls who are uncomfortable with their bodies is to be proud, accept who you are and be optimistic about life. Someone admires you, and it's only fair that you begin to recognise the beauty others see in you. Embrace who you are. Many have felt insecure and uncomfortable before and they got through it. You don't choose the family you are born in, your genes, your physical make up but as a girl, a young lady, a woman, strive to become the best you possible," she said.
Pinnock also had a message for those who demean others.
"As for the persons who body-shame, women in particular who do it, put yourself in the position. We all have issues, whether personal and undisclosed, but imagine someone tormenting you on top of that problem you are facing ... As young ladies, we should embrace each other and give each other strength. Just as how there can be public outcry against rape,(though this is not as gruesome), it is still an issue in today's society."
With an aim to become a role model and an agent of change, Pinnock says she hopes to advocate for the youth of St Thomas in whatever ways she can.