So the past couple weeks I've been crying to Facebook videos. Whether they're sad or funny, the tears come. I've never been a crier. Even as a kid I didn't cry when I was upset, but I could cry on demand. My mom always called me an actress because I would put on a show. However, the more I’ve been using my "I feel words" so have the tears. I cry at everything. Literally I'll scroll through Facebook videos of babies falling and I cry. Or an auction for Americas Got Talent, sobbing. My friend, Emma, thinks I’m nuts
One video in particular really affected me, though. It was about bodies. The interviewer asked 50 kids and adults one simple question “if you could change one thing about your body, what would it be." As adults I feel like if we're not criticizing other people, then we're criticizing ourselves. If it's not our forehead, then it's our legs or belly or arm fat.
Insecurities are a bitch. Seriously, I feel like as I’ve gotten older my insecurities have followed me like an annoying little sister. There are so many ways of covering up physical “flaws” or things we don’t like about our appearance. But what do we do about the inside? Therapy? Life coaching? Sweeping it under the rug?
I've struggled with body dysmorphia since I was a teenager. Back then I didn't realize it had a name. I’ve always known I was thin, but I don’t see myself the way others see me. I think most people who have met me would have no idea about my insecurities. I’m the most confident when I’m surrounded by people, regardless if they are a friend or stranger. But when I’m sitting at home, or even at the gym…I can feel my insecurities start to creep up.
My body dysmorphia started when I was 15. I came to LA to record a song with a producer. I have never been so excited in my entire life. But as we were heading leaving, the producer gave me a list of things to change if I was going to “make it.” He thought I needed to lose about 15 pounds before pursuing anything further. I was 15 years old and I was too fat. I was a size 4! WTF! My mom told me I was perfect and what was meant to be would be. Like moms are supposed to do.
Being too fat stuck in my head I guess. I started running on the treadmill for an hour, twice a day. I lost the baby weight as soon as I turned 18, I also grew 4 more inches. My dreams of singing vanished after my LA visit. But the insecurities have stuck with me.
When I moved to LA I was out with a girlfriend and a couple of her guy friends. I found out later that one of the guys asked her if I was bulimic because I ate so much pizza but was so skinny. When she told me that, I was so excited. What a horrible way to get validation from a guy….him thinking I have an eating disorder.
In 2016 I was the thinnest and fittest I had ever been. My body was bangin, not even gonna try and be humble. I distinctly remember being with Josh one night and he said "god, your body is amazing" and another time meeting some of his friends he told his friend to look how fit I was. I thought that I had made it. I finally achieved my goal. But the sad part was, I wasn't happy. I couldn’t eat out, I couldn’t drink and what I could actually eat was limited to chicken and veggies! I was miserable.
Now, almost a year later...I'm happier than I've ever been. I can say that wholeheartedly, without the shadow of a doubt. But you know what? I'm almost 10 pounds heavier than I was. I watch what I eat, but if I want pizza, I fucking get a pizza. I have a personal trainer, I work out. But it doesn’t control, my life anymore.
The reason I'm happier now is because I just don't give a fuck about what people think about how I look. Now of course, I might get self-conscious. But I know it's just a momentary thought that will fade. I’m happy because I enjoy my life. I love going out and getting sushi with my friends, or eating an entire pizza on a Friday night, even brunching with way too much champagne. If you’re not having fun, what kind of life is that?
If you watched the video to the end, the kids all say they want mermaid tails or shark mouths. Imagine being 13 again, and instead of wanting to be taller or skinnier....you want cheetah legs. You love your body! You love the way you look.
I hope the video reminds you that you are beautiful or handsome. When you look in the mirror, know that someone out there was made just for you. And they’ll love you forehead, or belly or your arm fat. You look exactly the way you are meant to. So I'm gonna go squeeze into some Spanx and start my birthday weekend off right!