To My Past, Present, And Future Self

To My Past, Present, And Future Self

To my past, present, and future self, I am extremely thankful and proud, of all that you have been, all that you are, and all that you will be.
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To my past self,

Ah, yes, I remember you: The one who smiled the brightest throughout her younger years. You were the baby and the last born, so you were the princess of the family. You still are. You were such a bright, extravagant child and so full of life.

You befriended and spoke to everyone possible. Some of your teachers saw greatness in you and knew that you were capable of anything. Other teachers saw you as disruptive and a disturbance. They didn't consider you for what you really were: Friendly. That's all you were. You enjoyed speaking to everyone. You were only a child and you were so confused. You've lived through some of the toughest times. You came, you saw, and you conquered.

You have experienced hell. Just when you thought your world was going to come crashing down, you rose from the ashes and became stronger than you ever were before. You loved and you lost. Battles were fought and people were lost. You hurt, you cried, and all for the right reasons, but for the wrong people. You overcame the hard times in life and you made it through, just like I knew you would. We all knew you would.

You always saw the good in people, no matter their intentions, and for that, you became a diamond in the rough. You were one of a kind and you always tried to be nice to everyone. You did your best to make sure no one felt alone and sad. You are and forever will be a precious gem. If you didn't make some of the decisions you made, we never would have made it to where we are today.

To my present self,

We've accomplished so much and we will continue to do so. We've learned our lessons and we are ready to fight fire with fire. We are a fire that has been ignited and can never be put out. We still see the good in everyone, but we no longer settle for second best.

We are worth so much, we are so valuable. We deserve to be treated that way and we realize this now. We have seen the error of our ways and we are constantly striving to do better. Fall down seven times, stand up eight. We are constantly stressed, constantly worrying, constantly contemplating all the "what if" scenarios in our heads, but we always shake off those bad vibes and keep climbing towards our goals.

We work our ass off in our sports, our schoolwork, and our job. We always give 110% and we never half-ass anything! We smile as bright as what we used to and we no longer let other people get underneath our skin. We ignore the negative comments and bad vibes of others, and we keep working to better ourselves. We are happy and can finally enjoy life without caring so much about what others think of us!

To my future self,

I see greatness in you. I always have. I see your future and, my goodness, it is bright. You know your dreams, you've achieved your goals, and you'll only keep going further in life. You will know how to take care of yourself, how to love yourself, and finally — FINALLY — you will have made it. You will have so much to look back on, so much to be thankful for, and you will know the true meaning of happiness. Your friends won't be friends anymore, but they will become family. You will do everything you have ever dreamed of doing. You will travel to all the places you have wanted to visit since you were young. You will find your significant other and you will grow old with him. You will have children of your own, you will love them with all of your heart, and you will tell them about all of your adventures in life. You will have fulfilled your destiny and set out to accomplish what so many people thought you couldn't do.

To my past, present, and future self, I am extremely thankful and proud of all that you have been, all that you are, and all that you will be.

Cover Image Credit: Leah Flanigan

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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