It’s been fun and exciting to do a couple of photo shoots lately – and it’s made me think about all the pressure just about every teenage girl feels about ‘fitting in’ and being ‘perfect’. Friends always compare themselves with each other – it’s what we do – but it can be so frustrating! I always seem to be the skinniest – with sticks for arms and legs – and they have these amazing bodies, all curvy and normal. Normal. I always think, I wish I could be the same as them, curvy and normal.
One day in year 4 (age 10), girls would compare their wrists to my wrist and ask if I was anorexic. So I searched what anorexic meant which I found to be starving yourself and I thought, “I eat lots of food, how can they think that?”
I ask my mum and she said I have a high metabolism – it’s in our genes… My grandma still has a thigh gap and my mum has always been quite thin and has gotten teased for her skinny legs through school days so I was happy that I wasn’t the only one.
In year 6 (age 12) I got comments like “Pacha you’re too skinny it’s kinda gross” and I believed them.
So after we travelled for a year in 2013, I forgot about all the school dramas and it was amazing. It taught me that there is a whole world out there and you don’t need to listen to the voices of taunt, chipping away at your confidence.
Then I discovered social media.
I truly love the idea of potentially reaching millions of people through a button on a screen. To spread awareness and to inspire people to live happy, healthy and sustainable lives.
But it also meant exposing myself to comments like “She is so perfect”
but I’m not, I’m truly not perfect, the word doesn’t exist. Everyone has flaws. Everyone. Even those super models have insecurities. I’ve found the more you dwell on what you don’t have, like curves or perfect skin, the more it will occupy your mind and make you feel like you aren’t beautiful.
I do go to the gym to build strength for surfing -and to ‘bulk up’. I’ve even started having protein shakes (thanks to Amazoniaco!) to make sure all my nutrition is covered and to get organic, vegan protein to put some meat on my bones!
Ultimately I think everyone is beautiful in their own way – especially when you are doing what you love, feeling part of nature and connected to the friends and family around you.
(PS. Big thanks to @catieallen_creative for the photos!)