I was thirteen when the self-loathing started. Surrounded by a sea of pre-pubescent bodies, some of the girls at my school had already started to get womanly curves and managed to lose all their puppy fat, whilst I hid myself in baggy jumpers to hide the rolls on my stomach.
Who taught me to hate the way I look? As a thirteen year old, I could fake my way through everything. I could binge eat with my friends and then stick two fingers down my throat later to rid myself of the toxins. But you see, I hated exercise, and I loved to eat. So that seemed to be the only solution for me.
Wearing glasses already made me stand out anyway, and then I started to self-harm, which made me an even bigger freak than usual. I fell out with my friends a lot for being different, and so I would find myself constantly trying out new ways to fit in. I had (and still have) stretch marks on my thighs and stomach, and finally, at aged 22, I am saying No More Hate.
I can’t look at myself in disgust anymore. Sure I’m not a size 8, sure I’m not toned to perfection. My body is covered in scars and tattoos and marks but my body tells a story. It’s so hard to look at yourself in the mirror and want to cry everyday, so change your opinion. Change your thought process. Change your ideals. You are a piece of art and goddamn it, you deserve to be admired.
I decided to stop reading those trashy magazines that tell you what size you should be and what pretty is. I decide to not care that my breasts resemble that of a small child’s. I am ignoring all my self-harms scars. In fact, I think it is time that I embrace them. I was sad for the longest time, but I don’t want to be sad anymore. I don’t want to hate myself anymore. Hating myself was tiring, and I deserve some rest.
I’m aware that I’m not perfect. I’m aware that my stomach sometimes hangs over the waistband of my underwear. I’m aware that I don’t have a thigh gap. I’m aware that I have scars all over my legs and that I bruise like a peach. Most of the time my make up ends up smudged down my face. AND THAT’S OKAY.
I look at my best friend’s. All our faces, bodies, personalities and hearts are so different that it is impossible to compare myself to them. Each one of my best friends is beautiful in their own fantastic way. And so am I. It is okay to love yourself, because how the hell is someone else supposed to love you if you don’t love yourself first?
It isn’t an overnight change. Sometimes it could take weeks, months, years. But this journey is yours and no one can take that away from you.
And of course, you’re still going to feel insecure from time to time, that’s a given, but as soon as you change your perception of what beauty is, and start putting yourself first, the less frequent those low days will become.
So throw away those trashy magazines that tell you that you aren’t pretty, thin, happy enough. FUCK THEM.
Change your role models too, anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself is not someone you should look up to.
Exit that toxic relationship that makes you question your self worth.
Forgive your 13 year old self for her self-hatred.
Say goodbye to your self hatred.
The only opinion that’s important is yours, and the more positive it is, the better your life will look from both inside and out.
You are beautiful. You are strong. You are important.
It has taken me 22 years to get this far, so I know you can do this.