At ten years old, I was called ‘fat’ for the first time. I was in fourth grade when that happened. That’s the year I started wearing long sleeves and really taking a look at myself in pictures. At eleven years old, I was called ‘weird’ for wearing long sleeves everyday, but I was only wearing them to hide my fat. I was in fifth grade when that happened. I didn’t understand what people wanted me to wear; one day they’ll call me fat and the next day they’ll call my weird. By sixth grade, I was staring at myself too long in the mirror and sucking in my stomach and crying myself to sleep. I didn’t want to believe the things people called me, but I did.
Fast forward to my junior year of high school. I’m a few months away from turning eighteen. I know now that my stretch marks are beautiful and that I wasn’t created to be stick thin. My body is mine and it’s not anybody else’s to judge or ridicule. My body may be different, but it’s beautiful. Loving my body is a war that I struggle to win everyday, but I was given this body for a reason and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I know now that my stretch marks, my weight, it’s all mine and it’s all beautiful. So, to my body for all of the pain I’ve caused it: I am deeply sorry that I ever believed any of the negative things other people, and myself, have thought or said about the way it’s changed or looked over the years and I hope that we can move forward as a team instead of as enemies.