Dear She,

All I remember was it started so young. The thoughts about my body image. It happened so early and body image is such a huge factor in society today, there was no way to escape the discussion. I remember the second grade, on the bus, “You’re so skinny” my friend said to me. I don’t know why it bothered me but I went home and told my mom. I’m not sure what her reply was but this is the earliest I could remember someone commenting on my body.

Ever since that remark, all throughout elementary school I would try to eat a lot more because my arms and legs were so small. Nothing seemed to work for me. I remained slender. As the years went by, naturally, my metabolism slowed and I gained as any girl would who is growing and changing. I gained weight in my hips and thighs and stretch marks show how I’ve grown. This was “not ok” when I was trying to fit in in middle school. I had never been overweight for my height but for some reason I thought I was huge. Into my earlier years of high school these ideas seemed to matter more and more to me. I would look up on the internet how to lose weight fast and there was one week when I was counting my calories to make sure I wouldn’t go over the amount I should have. I have spent too much time looking at skinny girls and following blogs about being healthy. My sophomore year we had to swim in gym class and I told my teacher I couldn’t swim because I wasn’t comfortable with my body. Little did she know I hadn’t swam in four years because I didn’t want people to see me. I think it was junior year when I realized I needed to accept myself and my body. I’ve come to realize that I don’t need to be confident in a bikini to show people who I am, and also I can wear what I want.

For all the times I didn’t go swimming, I want to say I’m sorry to my body. And for all the times I would pull back my love handles to see what I would look like I’m sorry. Still today I think that if I lost a few pounds I would look better, but I’m not making a huge effort to change myself. For now I am ok with that. Although my body does have its flaws I am grateful that I have one whole body that functions perfectly for me. I’m slowly learning to accept myself and my body and I know it just takes time.

Love, Me

Age: 18

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