Throughout most of my life, I recall being unhappy with the way I looked. I have never been skinny and when I was younger this was a major source of extremely poor self-esteem for me. I felt inadequate and I thought that just because I was a bigger girl that that made me ugly.
When I was about 16 years old, that changed for me though when I discovered a woman on YouTube named Loey Lane. She wore the same pants size as me, which nobody in the media did at the time, and she spoke on how everyone should love themselves no matter their size or shape. The discovery of this YouTube channel changed my life. That is when I started on the path to self-love and a higher self-esteem. I discovered the term “body-positive” and I ran with it.
Slowly, I started buying clothes that I liked rather than the clothes that I thought I had to wear. I was becoming more okay with my appearance.
The moral of the story is this; it is important to teach young people to love themselves. We need more people like Loey, people who will stand up and say that it is okay for anyone to love themselves regardless of size or shape.
Instead of making young boys and girls feel inadequate about the way they look, it should be taught that it is okay not to look like that model in that magazine.
People with a negative body image tend to also have poor mental and physical health. It is especially important to provide young people with the opportunity to be positive about how they look and allow them to love themselves. In the earlier teenage years, while their brain is developing, promoting body positivity and a higher self-esteem would also promote mentally healthier teens.
I wish that someone had told me earlier in my teen years that it is okay to love who I am. This would have saved me so much grief and so many tears cried over not feeling pretty enough.
At the end of the day, looks are not everything, but everyone still deserves to feel beautiful and worthy of love. No jean size should inhibit someone from not loving themselves.