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Body Image – Voices

“Body image wasn’t an easy journey for me. I never knew what self-love was or how to love myself being the size that I was.”
Brooklyn, NY
Growing up I was considered obese. When I was in elementary school, I weighed close to 200 pounds.

That definitely has affected me as a person and how I look at health, how I look at images online and how I viewed myself in the mirror at home. I was also always bullied, so weighing almost 200 pounds in the fourth grade played a huge role in my life throughout my school years.

Body image wasn’t an easy journey for me. I would look in the mirror and I didn’t like what I saw. I never knew what self-love was or how to love myself being the size that I was.

Growing up, my favorite TV show after school was the Tyra Banks talk show. I used to watch that faithfully along with America’s Next Top Model.

Tyra Banks was my hero. She was the only representation for me as a young black woman. Although I looked up to Tyra, viewing her as my only representation and role model played a huge role in how I treated my body.

I remember when she started letting plus-size women on ANTM. When I started seeing that in the media, I began to see myself in a more positive way.

It wasn’t until the doctors told me that I was obese that it came to a point where my health was on the line. I began to take health and my body weight seriously, but I would become obsessed with it.

It came to a point where I stopped eating and my mom would always ask me ‘Did you eat today?’ I still battle this today.

I would go in the bathroom and mark up my skin. I was always vomiting, my mom had to keep a very close eye on me.

So, when my mom was at work, my grandmother would watch me. When we were having dinner, someone was always at the table to make sure that I was eating.

For anyone struggling to love their body, it’s a journey and Rome was not built in a day. You’re going to have days where you cry, and you feel like everyone who looks at you is judging you. But, you need to tell yourself that you love yourself and you are valuable.

I was constantly defeating myself and being abusive to myself, while the world, my situations and stress were already doing that. So why was I doing that to myself?

I need to be my own champion. So, my advice to you is to be your own champion.

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