By Isabel - Age 13 | Subscribe: http://bit.ly/sub2storybooth | Record your story @ https://storybooth.com or our iPhone app for a chance to get animated. Comment, like, share this story. WATCH MORE: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTv86vY0AuCuVZFrilE3WncQhw1jZTxIW
Isabel was a confident girl. She loved herself, in a good way, and she felt like she had her life under control and moving in the right direction, and, she felt skinny - underweight actually - which at her school and with her friends was really important (much more important than it should have been).
At her school being skinny and underweight was normal, like you needed to be skinny and underweight to be perfect - perfect equals beautiful, and who doesn't want to be perfectly beautiful, right? Gaunt, thin, boney. So, after her doctor told her that her BMI (Body Mass Index) indicated being underweight, she was like "yeah! I got this!"
So, one day, at lunch with her friends, she told them "My doctor says I'm underweight and I'm really happy about that!" BUT, one of her so-called friends said "Uh, really? Are you sure you're underweight?" And then she asked Isabel how much she weighed - NOT COOL! Isabel froze, she didn't want to say how much she weighed, and she could tell that the conversation was going somewhere mean and not nice. She tried to change the subject but her "friends" wouldn't let it go, wouldn't drop it.
She finally just told them what the scale told her that morning and her friends were mean and insulting - one of them said "Umm, I'm not sure that's underweight" The rest of them joined in, saying "yeah, that's not skinny," and " that sounds like it's just average." And, in her school, the word "average" was like an insult of the worst kind. There, being underweight means you're beautiful, and being average means you're not, it means your fat, or your ugly. They just body-shamed her as much as they could.
From that day on, for months, Isabel always looked in the mirror, any reflection she caught of herself she saw an average person, an overweight person, an imperfect person. She wasn't confident anymore. All she saw were faults, flaws and imperfections. She thought her face was too round, her belly stuck way out, her thighs were huge, her butt was huge, and her arms were fat.
One day - even though she was perfectly beautiful - she looked in the mirror and said "I NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT." She started dieting, restricting her eating, and skipped meals. She skipped breakfast, and lunch, and sometimes even dinner. Not only did she start losing weight, but she also lost all of her muscles, and all of her energy and strength. She couldn't even do her push-ups at Tae Kwon Do, and her ribs started to show, and even though it looked like she was sick, to her, finally, she felt like she was starting to look normal.
She had convinced herself that having your ribs poke out, and arms like sticks, and bony legs, and sharp features was perfect. And, even though she was told that she was making herself sick, and even though she had to start eating again to have enough energy to make it through each day, still, in the back of her mind those terrible voices kept saying "you're fat," and "you're not pretty." "I was never skinny enough," she sadly thought. Was she getting the skinny disease? Anorexia?
After watching some positive YouTube videos and listening to the people who actually loved and cared about her, she started to realize that EVERY BODY IS BEAUTIFUL. Just because some girls have tiny little waists, or skinny little arms, or long slim faces, that didn't mean that she needed to have those.
No, Isabel realized that being unique is beautiful, that beauty is the whole package, the person, the heart and soul and not just the body and some idea that other people plant in your head. "Even though I may not look perfect, I am normal."
Isabel realized, once and for all, YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE SKINNY TO BE BEAUTIFUL!
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