Emerging Blogger Series: Michelle

The emerging blogger series is aimed at community building through giving mental health bloggers who are early in their blogging evolution the opportunity to have their work seen by a wider audience.  It’s also a way to introduce you as a reader to some newer members of our community.

This post is by Michelle from MichelleWriterBlog.

Distorted photo of person taking a photo through a glass wall

Photo by Kaleb Nimz on Unsplash

You Truly Are Beautiful

The therapist hands me a mirror. I take it and stare at my reflection.

“I want you to look at yourself in the mirror while telling yourself that you’re beautiful,” my therapist says.

As I stare at myself, I can’t find my voice. I don’t see a beautiful girl staring back at me. My reflection shows a girl with pudgy cheeks that look like they are storing nuts like a chipmunk. She has frizzy hair that looks like it hasn’t been brushed in days. Pimples cover her face. Her complexion is so off that no person would ever want anything to do with her. I’m ugly just like everyone says.

Tears roll down my cheeks. “I-I am b-b-beautiful,” I say while turning away from my reflection.

“You have to look at yourself and say it,” she reminds me. “I am beautiful.”

I stare at myself. I hate this. There is nothing beautiful about me. I am fat. I am ugly. I have no friends. I am failing school. I scare people away. Why would I say a lie to myself?

“I … am … beautiful,” I say to myself between sobs.

“Why is it hard for you to see yourself as beautiful?”

“Because I’m not beautiful.”

“I want you to keep saying it to yourself until you believe that you are.”

While staring at my ugly self in the mirror, I say it over and over until the words come out without me breaking down.

This exact scene happened to me a few years ago after I developed an eating disorder. I thought I needed to look a certain way to get guys I liked to want to date me. I lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time from starving myself. After my family caught on to what I was doing, I later became bulimic. This lasted for many years. I still make slip ups when my anxiety gets bad but I am mostly recovered now.

It is extremely difficult to see yourself as beautiful these days. The standard of beauty is based on photo shop and not on real beauty. You’re expected to have no fat on your body. You shouldn’t have hips. Your waist is supposed to be tiny. Your legs have to be stick thin. You have to fit in size zero clothes.

We are all beautiful as we are. Our bodies are the shape they are meant to be and what a real body is supposed to look like. You should be able to look in the mirror without picking out every inch of your body that you think doesn’t compare with a photo shopped model.

Women are supposed to have hips and thick thighs. We are supposed to have stretch marks after giving birth. We are supposed to have curves and flabby arms.

If you ever forget that you are beautiful, you should watch the Dove Evolution commercial. It shows a model a model preparing for her photo shoot. You also get to see the process where they photo shop her body. You get to see what she looks without makeup and with makeup. They go in photo shop and change her neck, eyes, cheeks and lips. By the end of the video, she looks nothing like she did in the beginning.

You are naturally beautiful as you are. Don’t starve yourself or strive to change your body for anyone.

 

Bio:

My name is Michelle Tikalsky. I am an indie author. I have self-published my first young adult novel, Shattered, and plan to publish more books. This blog is where I can share my life experiences and how I deal with my anxiety. https://michellewriterblog.wordpress.com/

 

Thanks so much Michelle for participating in the emerging blogger series!

You can find a listing of all of the posts in the series here.

The emerging blogger series logo

Do you want to be the next emerging blogger?

Criteria:

  • personal blog focused primarily on mental health and illness
  • relatively new blogger, with WordPress following <100 preferred

Interested?  If you fit the criteria above:

  • email me at mentalhealthathome (at) gmail (dot) com
  • let me know the topic you’d like to write about and include your blog name/URL
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13 thoughts on “Emerging Blogger Series: Michelle

  1. Keto For Beginners says:

    Good advice, I struggle with body image myself still, at 58 years old! I’m short, so even five pounds shows, I have cellulite, bad hair, and cystic acne on m nose. But you know what? I am beautiful! I am a giver, a caretaker, I love my family and friends. Beauty isn’t always about what we see on the surface, you have to dig deep. I am comfortable with myself most days, summer is the hardest time for me because of bathing suit season, but it doesn’t stop me from wearing what I want, cellulite or no.

  2. Meg says:

    This is so true. It makes me sad that women can never live up to the standard of beauty! The mirror part made me really sad!!

  3. eLPy says:

    Very touching post, thank you for sharing. Nice to see this positive message being sent out. I recently discovered Snapchat but only use it for fun with family and friends (there are some ridiculously funny filters on there, like recording yourself as a talking Llama). But as I explored it I saw all these filters that I could see being very unhealthy for girls, especially young girls. They’re the ones that everyone seems to use, they make you look like a puppy, or a fairy, or give you some kind of ears and little nose. Meanwhile the filter seems to “perfect” your face, making it softer with no lines or blemishes. They also seem to soften your eyes. Thereby giving us all a chance to look like someone/something we’re not. I hope this isn’t hurting our girls and women. I think it’s important we show each other that you can age gracefully and be happy with yourself no matter your age.

    Thanks again!

  4. Invisibly Me says:

    Lovely to ‘meet’ you, Michelle. Your post was fantastic, and quite emotional to read as someone who’s also dealt with eating disorders and problems with accepting, let alone liking or loving, her body. I’ve seen that Dove video a couple of times before but it always amazes as much as it angers me. “You are naturally beautiful as you are”, absolutely, all hating ourselves or trying to unhealthily change our bodies does it make us miserable. Off to check out your blog now 🙂
    Caz xx

  5. seaofwordsx says:

    I have never seen that commercial and just watched it. That girl doesn’t look like herself anymore. This blog was so good. You wrote it so beautiful Michelle! Thank you for this series Ashley. Our perception of beauty is definitely changed by the way society views us. We are all beautiful it’s so true. I’m happy that clothes brands now also use models from every size. At least something is changing.

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