An Open Letter To The Girl Struggling With Her Body

"I love that outfit, but I could never pull it off."

"Once I lose some weight, I'll wear that shirt."

"I can't eat that! I'm already too fat."

"I'll be happy when I can fit into my old…"

OK, listen. I've had enough. I've heard these words come out of my peers' mouths, my friends' mouths, my family members' mouths, and that's right — even my mouth. I've let it go too many times, but I won't anymore.

I get that no one wants to hear this, but I'm saying it anyway — you have got to start loving yourself.

Not when you're at a certain weight, or once you have abs, or grow your booty, or get husky. You and your body, as it is right now, deserve unconditional love — from YOU, first and foremost.

Why are so many of us so cruel to the bodies that house us? We're so critical of our every flaw — cellulite, stretch marks, fat rolls, acne scars, and all of that normal human stuff. The most important relationship we have in our lives is the one we have with ourselves. Your body, your home. Take care of it, love it, nurture it, and protect it.

Don't succumb to the devil on your shoulder telling you it's not good enough.

Here's a fact: multiple studies suggest that about 90 percent of both young men and women are unhappy with their bodies and "resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape." Interestingly, "ideal body shapes" have changed significantly over the decades and what we perceive to be ideal is heavily influenced by what we see around us. For women, it went from thin supermodels in the 1990s to Kim Kardashian in the 2010s. We aren't shapeshifters, people. Is caring so much about achieving our "ideal body shape" really worth any of our precious time?

Earlier, I said that I get that no one wants to hear this because it's so much easier said than done and it's an everyday battle. Oh, and society doesn't help. It's so easy to ride the wave of negative thoughts that take control of our body image. Not too long ago, those thoughts would've stopped me from buying a cute outfit or wearing a bikini. I started to block those thoughts as actively as I block the weirdos in my DMs.

I realized that being hard on my body has never done me any good. My body — the one that wakes up every day and gets stuff done. The one that has allowed me to live life and experience all of the things I have so far. The one that's crushed workout after workout. The one that will lead me into my future.

Now, I know to love myself and the body that is my forever home (at least in this lifetime). Sure, I love how it looks, but I love it for so much more than just that. Trust and believe, my appearance is the least interesting thing about me. How about you?

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