After landing a few contracts in Washington D.C., I was rejected in New York. After a couple of years, I moved to Los Angeles, but I didn’t make it there either. I gave up on the idea of modeling when I was about 23 years old. According to most modeling standards, I was too heavy at 5’9 and 130 lbs. I’ve realized that I’ve been working on being skinnier than I really am, for a long time now.
Everyone in my life tells me that I’m beautiful, and I don’t need to lose weight. I still struggle to see what they see. I’m still hard on myself for gaining 20 lbs in the past 6 months as I went off birth control. I look at pictures in Yoga Journal and think I should look like that – I’m a yoga teacher, and I should be thin like those other yoga teachers. But I don’t look like that. I’m not built like that. In my mind, there needs to be a huge shift in the way women’s bodies are perceived, and the way we as women perceive ourselves.
I am working on being the best version of me, no matter what that looks like. Let’s focus on what our bodies are for, and accept them the way they are. We each have a purpose in this life, and we can start taking a bigger stand with regards to our body image. Listen to yourself – not the societal standards, not your family or friends. Let your body feel whole, full and beautiful. It already is.
From now on, I will be kind in my moments of weakness. I will smile at my body in the mirror, knowing what I hold inside is full of character, love, and strength. And I am asking all of us to do the same.