I am writing this for you.
You, the person who has more memories of being insecure in their skin than of feeling at ease.
This is for you, the person lovelier than they have ever realized. The person who fears leaving their house because they cant stand feeling their body against their clothes when it’s rubbing against a size they hate.
This is for the person who was told they would be more attractive if they lost weight, gained weight, wore their hair differently, had straighter teeth…you don’t need to change for anyone else. I promise you this.
This is for the person who will never wear clothes that they “know” make them look bad…because certain clothes require us to go up a size or two, or because you can’t stand your skin pressing against the jeans, your thighs rubbing together with a dress or shorts…..
Listen to me: wear the clothes. Wear those clothes that you like but are afraid to wear. Embrace the moments with the people who you are wearing those clothes with. If they love you, they will not be focused on things you are focusing on—trust me.
This is for the person who cried after seeing their reflection in the mirror out of self-hatred.
This is for the person who refuses to take any pictures at all on days that they lack confidence…losing out on those happy moments that are meant to be embraced.
This is for you…for the way you felt being compared to a thinner family member or friend…for feeling like your worth now relied on the ability to have a “perfect image” in front of that person. It doesn’t-trust me.
This is for the person who has foods on their “bad food” list…because you have trained yourself not to eat them out of fear of gaining weight. You can enjoy that slice of pizza or that cupcake and still be healthy before and after eating it. The world will not end, time will not stop—you are still you. I promise.
This is for you…the one who eats in private shame and then purges to feel “better”, to feel “in control”.
This is for you….for the one who lost control because of their addiction, of their depression. Who sabotaged relationships with your unclear thoughts. You can repair the relationships with the ones who really love you-trust me.
For you, yes, you. The person who cannot find one positive thing about who they are, yet can see the beauty in others. You are beautiful, I promise you this. In all your flaws, in all of the things that make you so uniquely and wonderful you-you are beautiful.
This is for you….for your lack of comfort and sense of belonging. I assure you that the right people will make you feel like you belong.
I understand you—you, the one who feels like they can’t win because when you lose weight, you are “too thin” and when you gain weight, people notice that, too. You really are perfect right now, in this moment, because of who you are—not because of a number on a scale or a size on a pair of jeans.
This is for the person who feels like they “deserve” the pain and the feelings of shame because they can’t fix a broken relationship, a broken marriage, a broken person who makes you feel even more broken. You do not deserve the pain or the shame from your coping methods. We all are simply human which means we will all make mistakes. Harboring guilt does nothing to solve the issue. If you have put a sincere effort into correcting something, then you need to let go and free yourself of the guilt caused by it. It will work itself out in due time.
This is for the person who cringes when someone tells them they are beautiful because they truly do not believe it. Believe it from the people who mean it. You will come to learn who means it, and in time you will believe their sincerity.
This is for you—when you finally feel momentarily happy and you are just waiting for someone to say something hurtful to you or something to go wrong because you feel that you are undeserving of this happiness—get those thoughts out of your head. Embrace love and happiness in your life. It is essential to recovery.
For you….you who allowed yourself to be manipulated and taken advantage of because you felt like that’s how love and relationships “worked”-they do not. You will never need to feel these things when with someone who truly loves you. In a positive relationship, both people are able to give 100% and can be a team. You will bring your best self into a relationship with the right person, and they will do the same…..when you are ready and capable of accepting and giving love. This will happen when you love yourself first. So start loving yourself. Start right now, in this moment.
This is for the person who feels so desperately alone that they contemplate taking their own life—people love you. People will miss you. You are an important part of the lives around you. You are worth more than you realize so do not ever give up on yourself. Stay and enjoy this beautiful journey of life with all of us.
You are more than this. You can beat this. I believe in you. I believe in us.
You see, this is why I believe in you: I have battled with an eating disorder for over 10 years. I understand you. I don’t want anyone else in this world to ever feel as alone as I did in my darkest moments. This is why I want you to know that I believe in your worth. You are not alone. You are truly beautiful. In this struggle, I have learned that it’s not about obtaining perfection. It is about finding the beauty in who you are and what you have to offer to this world. Your heart and your ability to love yourself and others will give you a glow that you have never felt before.
We are all flawed, but without flaws we would not be able to have our own glow, our own shine, our own light and beauty that is uniquely our own. We would not have our little quirks and our wonderful (and very human) differences.
So let’s do this together. I believe in you.
It’s time to take a stand against our views of beauty and embrace ourselves exactly as we are. This is why I wanted to start this page and take these photos: to prove that I embrace my flaws after years of hating them. The reason for these photos is not to showcase some glamour shots. Have I been thinner? Yes. Have I been heavier? Yes. That’s not the point. The point is that it does. not. matter. anymore.
I wanted these to have meaning behind them. They represent EMBRACING my flaws TODAY and choosing to LOVE myself after years of hating myself. They represent REALIZING that beauty is TRULY in what WE SEE–not in what OTHERS tell us TO SEE. It is IN us. It is in WHAT WE DO and WHO WE ARE. It is in the LOVE we GIVE. These photos represent the double world of eating disorders and the lies we build to the people around us–let’s stop those lies. These photos represent my message to people EVERYWHERE to LOVE YOURSELF EXACTLY AS YOU ARE. TODAY. RIGHT NOW. IN THIS MOMENT. Let’s embark on this journey together.
I encourage all of you to embrace and love yourselves today, tomorrow, and always. Feel a sense of comfort that you are exactly where you should be, and exactly who you should be. Begin your journey to embracing and loving yourself today.
After all, in the phenomenal words of Amy Bloom, “You are imperfectly, permanently, and inevitable flawed. And you are beautiful”.