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When I was in 8th grade I had an eating disorder. I would only eat a brownie at lunch and do tae bo tapes until I collapsed from exhaustion. I was trying to be as skinny as possible, no goal weight, no ideal size, just skinny. Why? Because everyone around me thought I was fat, but I was really only a size 5. I didn’t read fashion magazines at that age and I wasn’t obsessed with Hollywood and having an image, I just wanted to lose weight because every 5 seconds someone I knew would poke me in the stomach and say “got a little pudge there. ” or simply tell me I was fat.

There wasn’t a model pressuring me to lose weight, it was people in my life. That’s why I don’t get the whole Photoshop is killing girls self esteem thing. Granted I know there are girls who idolize celebrities and models and want to look like them. And I’m not going to say that it’s not a good place to start but but if you ban it people are just going to find other things to try to replicate. Like the people at school  When I was in high-school there was a girl, I don’t know her name, but she was gorgeous. I would literally stare at her walking down the hallway and think to myself “why can’t I just be her? ” I still remember what she wore the first time I saw her, a long deep green trench, black knee high boots and a fierce blonde pixie cut. Among other girls I would try to emulate she was the main one that ate at me. I would try and try with my clothes and still just never quite got it. I started to think I was ugly and it weighed down on me.

So you see, ending Photoshop won’t help at all with a girls self esteem because there are plenty of prettier girls in the world that they’ll want to look like. Whether they see them on Instagram, Tumblr on Facebook, they’ll look at her and say “why don’t I look like that?” What we need to do is tell these girls that they’re beautiful, and treat them that way so they know they are. Sometimes its a phase, I didn’t become happy with my body until I earlier this year. And I still wish I could pick a different body based on how I want to look for that day, or the outfit I’m wearing. But I also know that someone is always going to be prettier than me, dress better or even have a better life in general and that’s ok. Being happy with who you are is a destination each person has to come to by themselves. I feel like self esteem comes with age. One day you’ll wake up and you realize you’re not so bad, and then your life will begin.