My name is Emily Peters and my dear friend Brooklynn has asked me to do a guest blogpost for this lovely blog and I am super excited to be sharing my thoughts with you all today!
So let's get this party started!
Our topic for today is... Drumroll please... BODY POSITIVITY!
When Brooklyn asked me to share my thoughts on the subject I was so honored. I have struggled a VERY long time trying to accept myself for my body shape and weight. It has taken me just as long to feel even the slightest bit comfortable in my own skin. But now, at 18 years of age, I am happy to say I have finally learned how to accept myself and I think all of you beautiful people need to learn that as well! Because YOU, yes you, ARE BEAUTIFUL.
So, where do I begin? I think the easiest place to start is, well, the beginning. (WARNING TRIGGER TOPICS BELOW)
Since about the age of 10 I have struggled with body dismorphic disorder. (if you don't know what body dismorphia is, it is a disorder where one believes they are much "bigger" than they really are.) I have also struggled with bulimia as well as anorexia and binge eating. I have been swimming competitively for 10+ years now and swimming, as many of you know, is a pretty "revealing" sport. Swimmers are expected to be in tight one pieces day in and day out amongst our peers, revealing just about everything to the naked eye. In a swim suit, every little flaw is out on display for the world. If you have stretch marks, scars, cellulite, you name it, in a swim suit it's going to be all out on display for the world to see. I felt different than my friends... much larger. I started hating how I looked from a very, very young age. Sometimes, even at the young age of 10, I would spend hours upon hours in front of a mirror staring at every little part of my body. Every surface of reflective material became a judgmental place for me to stare at my body and pick it apart. Sometimes, even walking to a store in the mall, every shop window we would pass would become another place for me to reaffirm my flaws.
So you're probably sitting there thinking, "EMILY, THIS IS SO NEGATIVE THIS IS NOT BODY POSITIVE AT ALL".
Oh contraire, Pierre(s)! My little story will take a turn soon, don't you worry your pretty little minds.
Around the time I turned 14, things got even worse. The idea of impressing boys (*shrieks hysterically*) started coming into play. On top of trying to love myself, I was constantly trying to impress the other gender. Every day I would worry about what boys thought of me. I saw all of my friends getting into relationships, having herds of boys wanting to text them, but here I was single and attempting to mingle and wondering, "Am I not good enough? Not pretty enough? Am I too ugly? Too fat? Is there something about my teeth?" I thought of almost every question in the book, trying to figure this out. I was cutting, spending nights upon nights crying to my mom that I would never get married, that I was too ugly and not good enough. I was feeling hopeless, insecure, not worthy. And all this time I was mysteriously gaining weight little by little for no reason, making matters even worse. (I realize now that it was probably because of all the stress I was putting myself under.)
By the time I turned 16, my family started to notice how all of this was taking a tole on me. My mom took me to a psychiatrist and they diagnosed me with depression and anxiety disorder, as well as bipolar disorder. I was put on medication and slowly things started to turn around.
Throughout that time that I was worrying about what others thought of me and what I thought I looked like, I forgot to love myself.
Learning to love myself has been a very long journey. I have slowly started to really learn exactly how I want to convey myself to my peers.
And what I want to be known as is just plain simple: I want to be known as Emily.
I started doing what I wanted. I would talk freely about my One Direction fan account even through the glares of others because, who cares? I love One Direction and I could care less what any of you think. I will happily belt out the words to Steal My Girl and What Makes You Beautiful any day around anyone.
I also started wearing what I wanted. I wear crop tops and high waisted shorts. I wear leggings, tight jeans or big baggy sweaters, because these clothes make me feel GOOD. Sure some people might say with my muscular body type that these types of clothing would not fit right, but heck, I love my stupid pair of ripped up high waisted shorts and my black crop top. I feel sexy, empowered, and BEAUTIFUL. Who cares what others think of what you want to wear? All that matters is that YOU like what you're wearing and YOU feel confident doing it.
So in summary here are three quick things I want to say to sum up this blog post...
1) Wear what makes YOU feel confident. It doesn't matter what it is. It could be sweatpants, skinny jeans, that old washed away Fall Out Boy tee that you've worn so many times its starting to smell like a permanent sweat stain... (GUILTY AS CHARGED) It shouldn't matter what it is. If you feel confident in it, then wear it. Who cares what others think? You feel good and that's all that matters.
2) Don't let others (specifically boys or girls) be the judge of your self worth. I thought the opinions of the boys around me were the only thing that could validate my beauty. But they weren't. And they shouldn't have been. Every time a boy would say "oh you're cute", yes, it was nice and it made me feel good, but it was temporary happiness. I still thought the same way of myself even with those compliments. So of course, say thank you to whatever compliments may come your way, but also brush off those rude comments. Having a boy/girl or not having a boy/girl does not determine who you are or your self worth. Society has taught us that if you're "single" you're probably ugly and forever alone. Or that if you've had multiple partners you're a "slut". But guess what? Neither of those things are true! Everyone is worthy enough and beautiful! Don't let others' opinions of you determine how you should feel!
And 3) SMILE. I know this is quite simple, and you're probably like "Emily I thought you were going to have another philosophical point!" But really my last point is as simple as one word!! A smile is the most beautiful part of a person. It shows happiness and pure joy! There is nothing more beautiful than a person beaming from ear to ear!! So do what makes you smile! Whether that is dancing like a maniac, blasting the Jonas Brothers as you sing along, painting, sculpting, writing, BLOGGING! Whatever makes you feel happy, DO IT. Because once you start doing happy things, you'll start feeling happy on the inside too.
Thanks for listening to me ramble today! I hope you feel a little more confident after reading this and I hope you are starting to feel BEAUTIFUL.
That's all for now!
Peace, love, and Harry Styles.