As a very young girl - I was vivacious, constantly singing whenever I could, and couldn't care less what size clothing I wore. I was not born hating my body - and to be honest... all I cared about was having the energy to run around the soccer field with my Pops.
The older I got, the more aware I was of my changing body and how it compared to others. I would look at the thinner girls in elementary school and middle school... wishing I could receive the same kind of approval from my peers that they all had. I was evaluating my worth based on the words others spoke over my life. The bullying, lack of positive peer role models, and negative media images broke me down to a point where I wouldn't even look in the mirror because I couldn't stand to feel like an unattractive failure.
I was constantly thinking to myself... "If I can just lose 5 more pounds, I'll be beautiful" or "If I can make some of these curves smaller... I'll have more friends and more people will like me." I was waiting for the world to allow me to be happy and feel beautiful instead of choosing it for myself.
I was confusing societal physical attractiveness, or outward beauty, with true beauty.
Now... as a soon to be 24 year old, eating disorder survivor, entrepreneur, and young adult.... I realize that I was beautiful all along. My beauty came, and still does come, from my heart to love and serve others, joy, kindness, and gentleness. Although I was not and am not perfect... I've always done my best to be a light and the best version of myself.
My past heartaches and challenges are one of my largest motivators to grow True Beauty Movement. I don't want any young woman to experience what I walked through. My worth and definition of "beauty" cannot come from the world, that will constantly be changing. It has to come from the knowledge that I was enough then - and I am still enough now.... my worth and beauty is found in Christ alone... and that unshakeable truth has to be at the bedrock of all that I am. He makes no mistakes and He made me (and YOU!) beautiful on the outside... but even more beautiful on the inside.
The knowledge that there millions of young women across the world experiencing those exact same thoughts gives me the fire to push through 14 hour workdays and obstacles that come with scaling a non-profit. I do it for all the young women who are just like I was. It is my sincere hope to be the role model and guide that I so desperately needed growing up.
This is part of my story - but I know that I am not alone. So often we see young women constantly striving for outward beauty, validation, worth, and acceptance. We must be the generation to change the conversation and start with true beauty.
You are truly beautiful now and you will be truly beautiful for decades to come as your heart radiates. Let's not wait until we lose the 5lbs to feel beautiful... let's make the choice to define beauty by our heart and realize that we are created wonderfully by the One who loves us most. He sees no flaw in you.
Humbled to Serve,