Recently, I began working on an essay for my English class. I chose the topic of body shaming. I had already written one of my papers on this subject, so I thought the jumpstart would help. I scoured books, magazines, and of course, the internet to find the information I needed for my argument. But one source took me by total surprise and may even change my life.
We all know Lily Collins. The daughter of famous musician Phil Collins, Lily is a talented actress herself and has starred in movies such as Mirror, Mirror; City of Bones; and more recently, To the Bone. Well, this past year she returned to her journalist/writing roots and released a poignant autobiography titled Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me. In this novel, Lily tells all about her struggle with anorexia and bulimia, the rocky relationship with her father, and the dark exes of her past. In doing so, she reminds us all just what it takes to be strong and confident.
I have never been one of those women who can walk up to any guy she wants and flirt or look in the mirror and think of myself as sexy. In fact, as I’m writing this, the voice in the back of my head whispers that it is probably not good enough. Simply put, I have never had any confidence in anything I have ever done. I don’t think of myself as beautiful or desirable. I don’t think of myself as particularly talented, but this book has shown me that I am not the only one. It doesn’t matter what a woman looks like or acts like; society always convinces us that we are not good enough. But in following Lily’s journey to overcome this, I have learned that it is not a one-time battle. It is an everyday choice. I do not battle bulimia or anorexia, but I know all too well what it feels like to think you are not pretty enough or thin enough or smart enough to ever be good enough for someone. There are days when those thoughts consume me entirely. I cannot bring myself to smile, I cannot bring myself to drown them out. I just let them wash over me.
This book taught me that you must take it one day at a time. You must make the decision every single day. It is not a one-time choice, and it is taken care of. Every morning when you wake up, you must decide that you will not let those thoughts get to you. You must decide to believe in yourself. You are the only one who can say, “I am good enough”, because, as Lily points out, no one can truly love you until you love yourself.
It is the biggest struggle I have in my life. The voice in the back of my head is very loud, but I can drown it out. So, I am issuing all of you a challenge. First, read this book. It is my firm belief that every woman—whether she considers herself insecure or not, confident or not—must read this book. Second, I challenge all of you to make the choice. Every. Single. Day. You are good enough, you are pretty enough, you are enough. Every day, decide not to let the voices get to you. Decide to believe in yourself. Trust in yourself. It may not happen overnight, but I promise you, your life will change.
I will be taking this challenge, too, because I want to be comfortable in my own skin. I want to feel beautiful. I don’t want to rely on someone else to do those things for me. And bless you, Lily Collins, for sharing your beautiful story. What began as research for a school paper has changed so much in me, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Your story will impact the lives of so many women in unimaginably beautiful ways.
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