Your skin is too pale, too moley, too blemished.
Your face is too freckley, too spotty, too different.
Your legs are too veiny, too wobbly, too bumpy.
Your stomach is too fleshy, too rounded, too much.
Your eyes, squinty and uneven.
Your lips, thin.
Your teeth, crooked.
Your laugh, brash.
Your voice, common.
Your personality, irritating.
Ugly, fat, worthless.
Would you speak these words to a child? To your daughter, son, niece, nephew? To your younger self?
Then why do we accept this inner dialogue as we grow up? Do we do it in hope that ‘tough love’ will push us to fix all of these faults and flaws? That hateful words will somehow get us to change all the things we dislike about our body and appearance?
How did this young girl, full of love and happiness grow up to hate her body so fiercely? Starving herself, bingeing in secret, purging in fear, attacking and mocking herself with such cruel words.
When I look back over photos of this little girl, there are so many things I wish I could say.
I would tell her not to worry about the fact that she loves to read, there’s no point in dumbing yourself down or changing yourself because other people don’t understand the wonder and magic that lies within books.
I would tell her that the marks and ‘blemishes’ on her skin tell the most individual of stories that are only true to her.
I would tell her that the flatness of her stomach and the jigglyness of her thighs do not mean shit. Your identity as a human does not rely on how much you weigh or how little you eat. Don’t hide your legs in the scorching heat because you think they’re too pale, wear your shorts are enjoy the sunshine! Don’t hide your smile because you don’t like your teeth, show your joy, laugh, smile, you bring so much happiness to people’s lives. You are incredible.
I would tell her that the boys she willed so desperately to like her, won’t compare to the man you meet at the age of 19.
I would tell her that she is smart and witty and wonderful. Not everyone will understand her or always like her, people’s opinions and words may hurt. But there are so many people who she already knows and has yet to meet that will hold her close and not let go.
Let’s stop bullying ourselves and beating ourselves down into believing that this way of thinking is okay! We should be telling ourselves how worthy we are, how wonderful we are, how beautiful and individual we are and that it’s okay to show ourselves love! Let’s be gentle with ourselves, as gentle as we would be to a child. Remember that little girl who ran as fast as the wind, who danced with joy, who scribbled on walls, who loved to read and write and play. Don’t lose her, hold onto her tightly and whisper the kindest of words.