I am overweight for my age. Or at least, I think so based on the signs that I've seen in the doctor's office. I was always overweight when they calculated my age, height and weight. But, pardon my language, this is bullshit. Those charts say that some little 14-year-old girl, with a curvier physique is overweight because her butt is bigger and her arms and shoulders are muscular. I have always been involved in sports and been an active individual, but no matter what I did I was always over the "standard" weight. Those charts set up in the doctor's office are unrealistic. I ate well, I exercised and I lived a healthy lifestyle. They don't account for us curvier girls who have hips and butts that aren't just fat but muscle. It took me 19 years to realize this and become comfortable with myself.

Society paints an image of what every girl should look like and what "healthy" is, but half of the "healthy" models they show us are people with serious disorders such as anorexia. When I saw that France passed a law that models have to have a BMI of 18 percent (which is the minimum healthy range for girls as I learned in my high school gym class) I was so happy. Half of those models have their ribs showing and are unrealistically skinny. Now, I'm not saying that all skinny people are unhealthy or need to gain weight, because it goes both ways. Some people struggle to gain weight and some struggle to lose weight, I am saying, however, that we as a society need to bring in more body types than just itty bitty models so that curvy girls, like me, don't grow up with insecurities and low self esteem. Now, personally, I have struggled with my body image and weight my whole life. At one point I wasn't eating a lot to lose weight and would workout everyday until I couldn't anymore.

Then, when I reached college, I started to accept myself and figure out who I am, which in turn caused me to eat regularly and unhealthily. I surpassed my freshman fifteen very fast, but, for the first time in my life I was actually confident and happy with myself. I don't know if it was because of my accepting school environment or the fact that I was growing up and maturing or my supportive friends and family, but after my first year at college I didn't care about my weight. My entire life I was so focused on what other people thought of me and how they wanted to see me, but I was finally comfortable with myself for once in my life, even at my heaviest. It's like I was in a shell closing myself in and adjusting myself based on my insecurities and peoples comments about me. Now, I speak for myself and find confidence in myself and have the best self esteem I have ever had in my life.

Basically, I feel like society's depiction of "healthy" and "confident" girls is unrealistic. I think that we, especially as Americans, should take a step forward and appreciate all body types. Because there is not just one slim body type. There is not just one ideal weight for every height/age. Let's not force little girls to struggle their whole lives with self esteem and confidence just because they are bigger than other girls. Let's praise them and teach them to love themselves and their bodies exactly the way they are. There is so much more to life than just a number, and weight is just a number.