As a teenage girl, I would say one of the most common phrases that a girl, ages fourteen to nineteen, will say is “Oh my GOD, I’m FAT.” I know this for a fact, I cannot think of a single person, especially a young woman, that has not said that at one point or another. But I believe in seeing the true beauty in everything, including yourself.
In our hot-or-not society, young women are bombarded with images, subliminal messages that tell us the way we are can simply never be good enough: Be sexier! Be hotter! Be thinner!
Here’s my message for you, the human being reading this: You are you. You are a beautiful person. Notice I didn’t say hot, sexy, cute, or whatever trendy word there is now. I’m telling you a fact: you are an amazing, beautiful person. It took me three years to learn to say that, and now I express it to anyone that felt how I once did. You (yes, you!) are amazing.
The first of those three long years began in seventh grade, when I first noticed that I was the only girl in the locker room over a jean size of two. I obviously wasn’t skinny enough. Was I not pretty enough? Is that why no boys liked me? Would I have more friends if I was a size zero?
I stayed like that for five and a half semesters. Five and a half semesters of wondering how many calories I ate and how long I would have to wait before eating again. I HAD to be skinnier; I was never “good enough,” for anything, I just plainly wasn’t good. I remember the want, the absolute NEED to be anything but myself. Even today, I can list off how many calories any item of food has and how long it’ll take to burn it off.
Eventually, after those long days of feeling sick, gross, disgusted with myself, last April, my best friend said six words that were the biggest counter-examples to what I previously believed. I broke down, crying, and admitted the hatred I had of myself. He looked at me. “You’re amazing the way you are.”
Wait, I’m amazing? Someone thinks I’m worth their time? Really? Me?
Those six words changed the way I thought. I repeated that sentence to myself again, over and over. I looked at myself again, over and over. I looked at myself in the mirror and kinda-started-ish to see that I was a decent human being. I am amazing.
It took me a long time to find the beauty in myself, and I still have a hard time seeing it sometimes. Now I never hesitate to tell someone how amazing they are. I believe I’m beautiful. I believe you, the reader, are beautiful. And, most of all, I believe that the yummiest things in life are counted without calories and the people that love you don’t care about your jean size.
This I believe.
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