When I was originally planning to write my article for this week, I was going to write it on how Victoria's Secret is stealing Tringl bikini designs… because well, they are. However, when I was sitting down to do so, I received a call from my little sister and that changed everything.
My little sister is a petite build in every way. She stands 4’8” from the ground and weighs about 83 pounds with a healthy BMI. However, compared to the rest of her 8th grade classmates, she is constantly bullied for being too short and too skinny.
Being as tiny as she is, she has an even bigger personality to go along with it, but after daily questions and comments from classmates telling her she’s too skinny and that she needs to eat more or calling her anorexic she broke down and called me.
There are two things wrong with this. First, it is NO ONES business to tell you that your body is too skinny, too fat, too anything. IT. IS. YOUR. BODY. Your body, your mind. Meaning if you feel healthy, if you wake up every day and can take on the day feeling energized, happy, relaxed, and confident then it is NO ONES business to tell you that your body doesn’t fit their perception of beauty or how they think you should look like.
Second, eating disorders are a very real thing. They affect 24 million people, all ages and gender, in the US alone! Therefore, it is NEVER okay to use a mental illness as a way to insult someone. Just like it is not ok to call people retarded, it is not ok to go around and call people anorexic or bulimic just because they don’t fit your ideal body type.
By calling someone who does not have an eating disorder anorexic and bulimic it can seriously affect their self-esteem and well-being as a person, lowering their body confidence creating insecurities that should never have been a problem.
On the other hand, you never know what somebody is going through, and often times we think we can assume so because someone is well-liked, pretty and smart that they might have everything in their life together. However, what you might not know is that person may have suffered from an eating disorder growing up because according to the National Organization of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, 95% of those who have an eating disorder are between the ages of 12-26, and by telling them that they are too skinny or anorexic you might have just triggered an emotional time for them, one that they fought to get through. You may have just diminished the body that they are proud and brought them back to their mental illness.
As women, we need to not use mental illness terms when referring to other women’s bodies. In fact, as women we should be supporting each other and standing up for everybody’s body types. There is something beautiful in all of us from curves to edges, and it is time we stand together to empower each other from moments of high to low.
Make a promise to yourself. Next time you see someone commenting on someone else’s weight or getting picked on for being either too skinny or too fat tell them confidently and simply that you think they look great! Words are extremely powerful, and it is important to know what you are saying at all times. It is NEVER okay to use a mental illness as an insult. Mental illnesses are a very real thing affecting the youth in America and instead of using them as terms to put someone down, be aware of the signs and be willing to help a friend in need if they really are suffering from anorexia or bulimia.
Eating Disorders Statistics
The only way I can describe my first heartbreak is by comparing it to the first time I rode my bike down a big hill while visiting my grandparents in Estonia. It was something new, and I felt like I could accomplish anything, even though I was terrified and had butterflies in my stomach; the feeling completely encompassed me and I was excited… until halfway down the hill I realize how fast I was going, and that I actually had no idea how to stop the bike. This best describes the point in the relationship when I realized things were going sour but still tried to hold on to it, hoping that things would turn out how I’d planned in my head. Unfortunately, in both my relationship and biking incident, I ended up crashing and burning, lol. No matter how I tried to steer the bike or the relationship, the inevitable still happened; I could only try to make it hurt less.
However, just because it was painful, doesn't mean it wasn't an experience worth having. When it comes to first heart breaks, there is a lot to forgive and be thankful for, especially if you want to gain something from it.
Forgive him for having dumb friends (because as funny as they thought it was to make that joke, we all know how ridiculous it was — they were no Jim Carrey).
Forgive him for any anniversaries or birthdays he missed, because when that new guy comes along and makes a big deal out of every date and birthday you celebrate together, you can let yourself smile in the knowledge that you've found someone that makes your happiness a priority.
Forgive him for being too young to realize what he had, because now you've learned to hold yourself at top shelf value, and are on your way to finding someone who will only treat you like the best.
Forgive him for those times he said he'd call or text and never did because even though you might have initially been upset, think about how you spent that time: maybe it was picking up a new book to read, or going to a new restaurant with your best friends. You learned how to create a good situation out of something that might not have started out that way.
Forgive yourself for anything stupid you might have said because, to be honest, those lead to the good stories you tell your friends, and now you have only improved your flirting skills with boys. ;)
Forgive yourself for any passive aggressive text or tweet you might have sent because it felt good to get those feelings out!
Forgive yourself for all those times you lurked his Facebook and judged that new girl he met, when really you know you guys would have been awesome friends under different circumstances.
Thank your friends for being there to wipe away the tears, for bringing you that tub of ice cream, and making you laugh — for showing you there is no greater medicine than laugher, and friendship is worth more than money can buy.
Thank your family for always being there, whether they understood what you were going through at the time or not.
Thank your new guy for understanding how little or much he might know about your past, for not letting that dim any light he might see in you, and for letting you shine to your full potential.
Thank yourself for being stronger than you were a week ago, a month ago, a year ago; the heart knows no time, so for as long as it takes you to heal, give yourself that time!
This holiday season, thank yourself for having your first heart break and promise yourself you'll try a little more each day to let that old scar fade into just another life experience. There are so many other memories to be made, more laughter to be had, and more hills to overtake. Make the eight-year-old you that fell off her bike proud!
A glimpse into my ever changing life through the words I've typed.