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As a child, I was always care-free and never cared about what others thought and loved myself the way I was. I did what made little Tierra happy at the time.
Then, I got older and started learning about social media. I started seeing all of these beautiful 5’2” 90-pound girls and thought that’s what I needed to look like. Before the influence of social media, I thought I and everyone else around me was beautiful. Even still to this day, I think everyone in every shape and form is extraordinarily beautiful. Everyone is allowed to be themselves and do what makes them happy. They don’t have to conform to “societal norms” of what society thinks is beautiful. Except myself. I have to lose weight and be able to fit into a size 0. (Fortunately, I don’t think this anymore.) I have a friend who used to date this man who told her she was fat, and she wasn’t attractive, and wouldn’t let the lights be on during sex or even let her take her shirt off when things started getting intimate. This friend of mine was 5’7” and 125 pounds.
After hearing this, I thought, “Well what does that say about me? If she’s 125 pounds and still ‘too fat’ then I must be really ugly and extremely obese.” I fell into a deep depression because of this and stopped eating to lose weight. I lost 50 pounds. Even though I thought that that was healthy now, it wasn’t. I looked extremely sick and all my friends and family were constantly asking if I was okay because I looked so bad now trying to become beautiful. It took me six years to get back into the mentality that I had when I was younger, where everyone including me was beautiful. I never thought I was a bully until I really listened to the way I used to talk to myself. I tortured myself trying to look like a photoshopped barbie doll.
If you’re asking what switched in my head six years later to get back into my healthier mindset that included myself, I really just thought and thought and thought about what I was saying to myself and what I was doing to myself. I realized that none of that was healthy, and you don’t need to be skinny to be beautiful. It doesn’t matter what you look like, it’s truly the inside that matters. If you have a healthy mind, then I consider you to be a healthy person. If you have a beautiful soul, then you’re a beautiful person. It took me six years of torment, self-intrusive thoughts, and lots of therapy to get to where I am today. I’m still trying to learn to love myself again, in a healthier way. I started writing, I go to the gym, and I eat healthier foods. I take care of mind and it helps me take care of everything else in my life. All I want you to know is that you truly are beautiful the way you are now. If you want to do certain things, make sure you’re doing it for yourself to help you be happy in your own skin. Do not let the societal pressures of today’s world convince you that you’re ugly because you don’t follow a certain protocol or look like Barbie. Everything you do needs to be for yourself and because you want to. It is not narcissistic to love yourself. And it is not selfish to put yourself first.