My eating disorder is something that, even if I conquer and manage to keep under control for the rest of my life, will never truly be gone. However, as I’m choosing to live healthier and happier and “fight my demons” as Amy Poehler beautifully puts it in her book Yes, Please, I’m also focusing really hard on changing my attitude towards myself, my body, and particularly changing my self-talk.
While this is incredibly difficult as my mood and self-confidence waver and transform from moment to moment throughout the day, recognizing that I’m being unjust and cruel towards myself is already showing me that I’m stronger than I think. There is nothing more empowering than being able to tell myself that it’s my life, I’m in control, and I get to love myself no matter what or how I’m feeling at any given moment. And this goes for every other woman and girl on the planet.
This leads me to praise an amazing video I found by a powerful contributor to feminist media, Dove. The video is Dove’s One Beautiful Thought campaign. It shows two actresses sitting at a coffee shop telling each other phrases that real women actually wrote about themselves.
The scary thing is, as I watched the video, I was horrified by the awful things the women said to each other. Then I started intently listening to words I tell myself a million times a day (sometimes even in my dreams), and they were just as terrible, if not worse. The thing is, I would never, ever tell my sister, my friends, or any other woman on the planet the self-degrading and hurtful things I tell myself.
So basically I’m here to tell you (and reiterate to myself) again — because there are never enough places to say this in media and in life — that it doesn’t matter what you see when you open up that fashion magazine, or see some images on Instagram, or read some posts on Twitter. What matters is what you tell yourself, how you talk to yourself every day. I know it’s hard (I’m struggling with it as I’m sitting here writing this blog), but go one thought at a time, and eventually you will start to believe yourself.
You are smart, you are beautiful, and you are RIGHT to love yourself. (Cliché, but absolutely true.)
Kinga was born in Hungary and has lived in the Bay Area since she was 10. She’s a second year Communications and Political Science major, and spends her free time writing, reading, and cooking!