My story begins long before the bullying started. When I was small, I looked just like my dad. I talked like him, acted like him, and chose to identify with his race instead of my mother’s. The only thing I had in common with my mother was how tiny I was. We were both so skinny, so she put a huge emphasis on the one thing we shared. I began to find my identity in my weight, which was constantly praised. “How’s my Skinny Minnie?” my mother would often ask. I never imagined someone would disagree with her.
In sixth grade I was told I was fat for the first time. I laughed the first time, how could anyone think I was fat? But then I was told it again. And again. I was 5’6 and barely 100 lbs, but I began to fear that I was overweight. By the time I was a freshman in high school, I was bulimic and anorexic and cut myself consistently.
In my mind, I was ugly. Fat. Worthless. And so I tried to destroy myself. I attempted suicide as a sophomore and ended up in the ICU and then went on to extensive rehab.
I am now 18 years old. I am 5’5 (yes, I shrunk an inch) and 120 lbs, and I am beautiful. That word is still incredibly hard to say, nearly 6 years after the bullying began, but I am starting to believe it. And anyone who feels this way, I guarantee that you are beautiful too.