Once upon a time, there were two girls named Ana and Mia. They were friends, and did everything together. They were both very pretty. Long blonde hair, white teeth, skinny. So skinny. Sometimes, Ana and Mia went to other little girls’ houses for play-dates. Ana and Mia didn’t understand why the other little girls weren’t as skinny as they were. They would ask the other girls, “Why aren’t you skinny?” And the other girls, who hadn’t pondered the question before, didn’t have an answer. The other little girls would get jealous of Ana and Mia, and sometimes, Ana and Mia would tell them to do horrible things to themselves in order to be as thin as they were. The little girls listened, and eventually developed eating disorders.
Obviously Ana and Mia are not real little girls, but rather ideas created to personify anorexia (Ana) and bulimia (Mia).
I am no size zero. Never have been, never will be, as I have no desire to. However, there was a time in my life when my biggest priority was being able to fit into a size two. I was twelve, and if anyone remembers sixth grade, it was a time when all girls had Aeropostale clothes. And if you have ever shopped at Aeropostale, you know that most of their clothes can’t fit a five year old, let alone a teenage girl with hips.
In a desperate attempt to be like all the other girls in my grade, I frantically Googled “how to be pretty.” The Pro Anorexia/Pro Bulimia websites came up, and my life was changed. I read stories of how these two girls, Ana and Mia, helped so many other girls become pretty. I read how to keep Ana and Mia a secret from your family and friends, what to do with your lunch if you didn’t eat it at school, and I think I may have even taken a quiz on whether Ana or Mia was more fit for you.
Mia and I were “friends” off and on for about a year and a half. I did some horrible things to my body when I was struggling with bulimia, things that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Many people know that I love doing musical theatre as a hobby. Well, when you’re constantly making yourself throw up everything you put into your body, your throat is constantly being coated with stomach acids which in return damage your vocal chords. Whenever I practice singing, I think about Mia, and I wonder how different my voice would be if I had never let her into my life. That is a consequence I will have to live with for the rest of my life.
In the years since, thanks to amazing friends and some inspirational quotes I found on Pinterest, I have overcome my eating disorder. I wrote this entire post while eating an entire box of assorted chocolates, with no intention of purging later. I have grown to love my body, curves and all. Girls, your bodies are so freaking beautiful!!! I found this one quote on Pinterest that’s like, “They’re not stretch marks. I’m a tiger who’s earned her stripes.” HOW TRUE IS THAT??? Okay imagine this: you’re an artist and you just painted the most beautiful painting on the planet, and you give it to the person you love the most. But that person hates it, and always complains about it and may even try to change it. How would that make you feel? In reality, God is the painter, our bodies are his paintings, and we are the people he loves the most. How do you think he feels when we criticize ourselves?
Your worth is not measured by the number on the scale.