“When I was ten, I hung out with a bunch of neighborhood friends. But I had one best friend. Her name was Lisa. Lisa was super pretty with big brown eyes and long dark hair. She was tall and skinny, and all the boys had crushes on her.
I met her the day we moved into my new house, when I was just four years old. She was standing in front of her house with a bunch of other kids and moms, and I ran over to say ‘hi’.
By the time I’d introduced myself and told them my whole life story, in the middle of that dead-end street, I knew we would be best friends forever.
Lisa and I lived just two houses away from each other, and if she wasn’t at my house, I was at hers. We’d share our deepest secrets; we’d talk about boys and sometimes we’d even get mad at each other and swear we would never be friends again.
Lisa came to all my birthday parties. We used to love summers swimming in my pool, and having my dad make the absolute best ice cream sundaes. I remember how perfect she looked in her bathing suit and I’d look at myself and the little rolls around my middle, and wish I wasn’t ‘fat’ – I wished I was more like her. But then again, I did love Devil Dogs and all things cake.
Comparing ourselves…we are all guilty of it, right? I mean, we compare clothes and grades. We compare our bedrooms to our friend’s – we compare pretty much everything, and we don’t really even realize it, because we’re so used to doing it. Right?
But listen, while I used to think I was chunky back then…when I look back, I realize that I was growing just perfectly for me. For my age. For my height. For me.
We all grow differently. We all mature at different times. Our bodies are amazing, and can be kinda scary, too. You may have already hit puberty, or maybe you’re worried that you never will because you’re thirteen and still don’t have boobies.
Or maybe you’re ten and have already started to blossom, and you try to hide it under a heavy sweater, or wear layers in summer so people won’t notice.
Girls, you’re gonna get there. Don’t rush it, and don’t compare yourself to someone else.
And especially do not – do not read magazines or think for a single second those models haven’t been touched up. Or that your favorite singer doesn’t get a pimple from time to time. Or that you need to watch what you eat, so you can look like “her” – whoever “she” is.
If you haven’t been living under a rock, you know about social media. You know how filters work. You know all about airbrushing a picture or changing the lighting, adding features, and all that jazz, to make a picture look better. Right?
Well, think about this. If you know how to do it, at a basic or even semi-advanced level…imagine how much greater the professionals can make someone look with all the right tools?
So, step one of loving your body is to repeat after me:
“I, (your name) am beautiful, just as I am.
I promise to NOT look at magazines or tv, or snap, or Instagram, or Facebook, and compare myself to someone else.
I understand that pictures can be deceiving and what I see in print or tv, may not be reality. I love myself. As is.”
Say that every day if you have to. Bookmark this page. Highlight it. Repeat it.
When you look back at your younger self, you will know what I’m talking about. Trust me on this.”
My book, “Actually, I Can – and So Can You” was written as a guide for overcoming obstacles. After I wrote it, I started thinking about my daughter, and the obstacles she’ll have to face and overcome as she grows – and that’s what prompted me to write “Actually, I Can (for girls only)” – In the book, I discuss the top challenges girls will face; body image, bullying, teen dating & violence, smoking & drinking, depression, social media addiction, stress & time management…to name a few.
Both books are available on Amazon in both soft cover and Kindle.