Dear 14-year-old self,
You will flip through countless magazines and compare yourself to beautiful, alien-like, re-touched models and wonder why you don’t look like that. You will hate your thighs and be terrified of wearing a bikini, just in case someone sees how imperfect you are.
Boyfriends will call you names, in jest, and it will hurt you deeply. You will poke, prod, diet, binge-eat and hate your body. You will hate your body so much, that you will find it hard to even look in the mirror.
But I have some advice for you babe: it’s all bullshit.
One day, you will look back at photos of yourself and you will be so shocked at the fact that you were actually a perfectly healthy weight. You will realise that you wasted part of your life haunted by an idea that was so far from reality, that you should have been diagnosed with body misperception disease.
Most girls have it. It comes from an obsession passed onto us by the women around us, who had it pushed onto them too- a foolish overemphasis on beauty. I‘ll tell you now- it’s overrated.
There is a different and much better way to go about it. Here are just a few ideas.
Find ways to love and respect the way you look, everyday. Even if at first, you don’t believe it. Don’t spend time rating your friends on Face book on a scale of one to ten, as to how pretty they are. Either refuse to participate or rate them all a ten. When a friend complains she’s fat, talk to her about three of her best features. When your mother says she’s going on a diet, tell her she’s beautiful and go walking with her. When a boy says you would be perfect if you lost a little weight- tell him he’d be perfect if he saw how gorgeous you already are. Learn to look at yourself in the mirror and appreciate every body part and what it does for you in a day. Without those big mamma thighs- you couldn’t walk baby!
Lastly, and most importantly, don’t make the mistake of underestimating yourself because you’re not ‘skinny’.
Dear 30-year-old self,