After watching the new Netflix film, Dumplin', I was given me the courage to write this article about one of the hardest things in my life to talk about. Like Willowdean Dickson, the main character in the movie, I have a problem with my weight and I hated myself for a long time because of it.

At the start of my life, it was hard for me to understand that I was the fat girl in school. I never felt worthy of love or acceptance just like Willowdean didn't. I felt like I could never find any happiness in life until I was happy with what my scale said.

Body image is a hard topic to talk about for a lot of people in the United States to this day. Every day, whether it is in the line at the grocery store or online while browsing through Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, we are told that we need to look a certain way to be happy or that happiness can only be found when an acceptable number is shown on a scale. These portrayals of happiness are shown to us daily as reminders of how life is "supposed" to be lived. I tried to live by these standards for years and I shouldn't have.

Poor self-esteem is not the newest trend and it needs to be stopped. I beat myself up for years because I had tried to change how people felt about me instead of being worried about how I felt about myself. I, soon, came to terms with the fact that the only person whose opinions mattered was my own. I have finally come to realize that all I need to worry about is how to make myself happy and not everyone else because I was the one who had to stand up and look in the mirror every day and see the reflection of the person that I was on the outside and the inside.

Being a heavier set girl has made me a better person. I learned how to understand and accept the flaws of others because I have learned to understand and accept my own. I can tell you from my own experiences that the saying, "You need to love yourself first before you can truly love others," is so true. Self-love is so important and it needs to be spread among our generation that only promotes self-loathing. So, go out and make today a day full your favorite things. Eat the ice cream cone you wanted from McDonald's because the calories really do not matter all that much or go and master something you have tried to do before and failed because YOU can do whatever YOU want. Today is the day to show the world that you are truly happy with whoever you are. From the wise words of Keala Settle in one of my all time favorite songs, "I'm not scared to be seen. I make no apologies, This Is Me."

Thank you for reading! :)