Taylor Cummings With Powerful Message on Body Image


Taylor Cummings, a three-time Tewaaraton Award winner at Maryland, is a midfielder for the U.S. women’s national team and the WPLL’s Fight. This is an edited version of her Aug. 18 Instagram post. 

Growing up as a female athlete, there were days that I hated how I looked. I didn’t look like other girls in magazines or on TV.

Once middle school hit, I began struggling to find clothes, because my thigh muscles were bigger from lifting and playing. I would cry in dressing rooms, in my bathroom and on the way to practices all of the time because of my athletic build.

If someone had told my 9-year-old self — or my 14-year-old self or even 20-year-old self — that I would ever be comfortable not only running in a sports bra and shorts, but having photos taken of me to put on social media, I would’ve laughed.

By no means do I possess the ideal body set by the media. However, after so many years with body image issues, I finally feel good in my own skin. It took me realizing some things as a 25-year-old that I could not at age 9 that helped me immensely.

My strong legs, ones that I’ve called thick and gross in the past, have allowed me to run fast, handle hits and play the game I love at the highest level.

My broad shoulders, long arms and big hands, parts of my upper body I used to hide under clothes and be ashamed of as a kid, have helped me be able to reach higher than most on the field and carry more within them.

My droopy lip and broken nose, results of injuries I sustained in high school and college, no longer make me cry out of embarrassment and shame. They are now scars of my past that show that my road hasn’t always been pretty or easy. 

My journey of self love and acceptance is an ongoing one and is not unique. I know many athletes who also struggle with body image. Even though I’ve come a long way, I still have bad days where I look in the mirror and pick myself apart. However, I strive to find the good in every part of me and find its value in my life.

I am healthy. I am happy. I am grateful.

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