BODY IMAGE AND SELF WORTH

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For as long as I can remember, I've always struggled with my weight, and my body image issues started to become more prevalent in middle school. I always knew that I was a little bit bigger amongst my peers since I wasn't the stereotypical petite Asian girl. Growing up in an Asian household, everyone in my family was relentlessly criticizing the way I looked and teased me about my weight which really affected the way I saw myself. They started to plant seeds of doubt within my mind, and insecurities start to slowly build up throughout the years. Am I not skinny enough? Why don't I feel pretty? Should I starve myself?

I started to question my self-worth based on someone's opinion, and my confidence started to spiral downward. I had so many negative thoughts and wanted to hide from everyone including my family. My head was always down, I didn't speak up when I was ridiculed, and I let my relatives walk all over me. Why should I be going to family parties and be around them if they're only going to make me feel worthless and shitty based on appearance?

Before I entered high school, I made a promise to myself that I was not going to let an outsiders opinion dictate how I felt and allow them to make me feel unworthy based on my appearance. Fast forward to today and very recently my uncle said, " You're too big for an Asian girl." I replied, "You know what? I look good and I don't have a problem with my appearance." Still can't believe how much easier it is to speak as an adult. I get a kick looking at their facial expression looking at me in awe when I stand up for myself by not giving a f*ck.

I started to play tennis at 14 and it was such a pivotal moment at an early age in my life. I felt stronger mentally and physically, but most importantly my confidence was growing. I knew that I was capable and believed that I had the abilities to do well. I was in the best shape that I have ever been since I was diligent with my training during tennis season and that's when my mind started to shift into a positive light. Along the way, I became more optimistic and acknowledged that I'm never defined by my circumstances and take full responsibility for what happens in my life.

Even as an adult, I still have my insecure moments of self-doubt and discouragement. Who doesn't? Its normal to feel down from time to time, but it's important to remind yourself that you are good enough. Never rely on or seek for ANYONE to validate your self-worth because if you don't love yourself who will? I hope this reminds people that anyone that you encounter has their own insecurities and that you're not alone. When you feel like you're having a hard time just tell your loved ones because they'll always be there to help!

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