Love Thy Cuerpo: A Healthy Look at Body Image

For many mujeres, living up to the beauty ideals of the Hispanic and American culturas, is anything but easy. On a daily basis, we face unique body image issues -- “Am I skinny enough?” “Is my nose too big?” “Are my feet ugly?” -- and situations that can get in the way of our accepting and loving our bodies and ourselves. Here, five women share why they love and celebrate themselves -- we dare you to do the same con tu cuerpo!

I would stand in front of the mirror and rate each area of my body from one to 10. The part of my body that would never score well was my thighs.”

“They always looked so big and shaky. I hated them. It wasn’t until I started working out that I stopped obsessing over my legs. Then one day, I realized that my whole body, including my legs, was in good shape. My thighs were still big, but that’s just how my body was shaped and there was nothing I could do to change it. It also helped to see women such as Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian proudly displaying their big butts and thighs looking so sexy and confident. So I started accepting myself and now I think my thighs are sexy.”

- Nichole Moreno, 40

I'm on the shorter side with thick hips and a big bust, but I'm not any less confident.”

“Latinas, in general, are taught to love the shape of their body, knowing full well that it goes against the American standard of what has traditionally believed to be beautiful, which is tall, blond and blue eyed. I know that my shape and size are different, but I’m confident because being different is also beautiful.”

- Harumi Yoshida, 26

Although the ideal Latina body is supposed to be curvy and voluptuous, my hips are pretty narrow.”

“Luckily, my parents taught me to like my body ever since I was a kid. I learned very early how to be comfortable in my own skin. As a result, today, I know my body is beautiful and that anyone can be sexy at any size.”

- Karla Minchala, 25

I am a woman and we are all about change.”

“My weight fluctuates between five or eight pounds on any given day, depending on how much I ate the night before. So it is no surprise that my feelings about my weight and overall body also change depending on my mood, which also changes. I embrace the extra five pounds -- or 10. I embrace the ability to fill a dress that I couldn’t the week before. How boring would it be if we didn’t change? I love who I am today.”

- Yeilin Bonilla, 32

I was blessed with all of the hair DNA from both sides of my parents.

“I had hair everywhere: on my lips, chin, belly button, arms, legs. Even my toes! To make matters worse, my mom wouldn’t let me shave until I was in high school. For most of my life, I was ashamed of all that hair, and finally got rid of most of it with laser treatments. When it came time to take the hair off my arms, however, I couldn’t do it. At the last minute, I decided I wanted to keep it. I wanted to have something that reminded me of my parents and how I came into the world.”

- Johanna Robles, 37