Things have a funny and super ironic way of playing out in life. For example, last night I was working a table for my job at an eating disorder treatment center and for Project HEAL at a movie screening of Miss Representation on my schools campus.
So let's just get things straight before we move on. Pretty much my job for the evening was to represent two places that have a mission of empowering women and men to live healthier lives beyond eating disorders and to promote positive body image.
Pretty easy to understand, right? Cool.
As I waited for my partner in crime from Project HEAL to show up, the campus security guard at FIT decided to strike up a conversation with me. Which I thought was really sweet.
Then she makes a comment on my body and the fact that I have great style for a girl with a FULL FIGURED, PLUS SIZE BODY.
In this moment I took a deep breath and held back what I wanted to say. And honestly, I wanted to tell her to f*ck off.
See, it’s not that I have a problem with being seen as a girl with a curvy figure or the idea of perceiving myself as ‘plus size’ but I want to be seen as what I am: a young woman who happens to love fashion.
Throughout the past year and a half and my entire journey of recovery from my eating disorder, I have had to face the fact that my body is where it is and that the number on a scale or on the tag of my shirt does not define me. Most importantly, I have realized I cannot dedicate my life works to trying to change numbers.
This isn’t a decision I made overnight, nor is it something that I am able to live everyday believing. But I am trying my hardest to live in freedom.
What I really should have said is that I don’t have great style for a girl with curves, I have great style. PERIOD.
As much as it hurt in the moment for someone to objectify me for my outer appearance – it reminded me of how strong I’ve become. A year ago this comment would have made me spiral. I’ll be honest too, this almost made me spiral tonight. I spent most of the night trying to ignore the thoughts in my head telling me that it would be fine to start restricting and maybe occasionally using old behaviors.
But F that.
I got home and ate my damn dinner. I got home and wrote this post. I got home and reflected on the fact that I am beautiful for what I do.
I am not my body. I am my strength.
I am a beautiful person for all that I do to share my story and experiences in recovery. I am beautiful because I continue to spread awareness of this illness and the hope and possibility of recovery.
So to the FIT campus guard, thank you for inspiring me to continue what I do everyday.