On Loving Myself Just As I Am

To me, being old and beautiful are not mutually exclusive, regardless of the modern society’s unrealistic standards of beauty.

Loving myself just as I am.

My essay, I. Am. Beautiful., won a third place for the 2022 Body-Positivity Essay Contest. You can read it at Navigating the Change.

Once again, thank you Kathy Garland and Keisha D. Edwards at The Real Peri Meno for this encouragement to tell my stories.

On days I’m tempted to complain about weight gain, I remind myself that an elephant trunk weighs far more than I do. Yet an elephant is comfortable in its own skin. How’s that for some perspective! Mind you, there are days I still complain, because I refuse to buy new clothes.

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and creative professional. Her blog focuses on all things poetry and creative nonfiction.


  1. It was our pleasure, Khaya! I tell all winners that I’m glad I decided not to judge; otherwise, all of you would’ve won lol

  2. “Because my middle life crisis is strapped on my hiking boots. This too is a journey of constant self-affirmation.” Beautifully written and powerful essay that speaks volumes. 💜💫
    (I tried to Like and Comment on the website but it won’t let me without “signing in” to my WP account. LOL! I don’t remember my login info and Reader never asks for it. Oh well…Another byproduct of aging 😁)

  3. Woot! Congrats. LOL, I too am stubborn when it comes to buying new clothes too. But I notice I do feel much more confident in something that fits me right than when I try to wear something that really doesn’t hang as well as it could on me.

  4. A wonderful essay, Khaya. I also think that age and beauty aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, I think aging allows us to embrace a much deeper and more fascinating beauty. Of course, you’re beautiful to me. 🙂

  5. Thanks Rommy, this was a much needed boost. And I’m right there with you in feeling comfortable and confident in clothing that fits well. Luckily, spring means more action… 🙂

  6. I’m glad you agree too that these two characteristics aren’t mutually exclusive. We’re all beautiful in our own way. Thanks a lot for reading and your kind comment, Diana…xx

  7. Well deserved recognition on that essay contest!

    The struggle here is real. I fight with myself and my body constantly and wonder if I will ever grow weary enough to lay down the burden. All my evolved sensibilities can’t seem to shake the ingrained emotions, programming, and damage. Like, I know the things shouldn’t matter as they continue to matter too much.

    Thank you for putting it all into words.

  8. You are indeed blessed, Khaya. The essay was a pleasure to read, and congratulations on the recognition! You are always beautiful.

Do leave a trace!