Dear child,

I’m not sure if, or when, you’ll ever read this. I don’t know what the world will look like then because I’m only 23 right now and it may be 20 years later by the time you read this. I honestly hope that in 20 years, the world has changed enough so that people don’t judge each other based on their looks anymore and that we’ve finally accepted that every person is beautiful. But if it hasn’t, and if your mental health is similar to mine, then you might want to keep reading because I need you to hear this:

You are beautiful! I hope you never reach a point in your life where you look in the mirror and count the things you want to change. I hope you never reach a point where you buy certain clothes because they cover up the parts you’re insecure about. I hope you never let the numbers on the scale define your worth, because let me tell you this- they do not. Most of all, I hope that I have never said or done anything to push you in the direction of doubting yourself.

The world can be cruel and there may be times when you feel alone in your struggles. There may be times when you’re convinced that it’s only your body that has a bit of extra hair here, or spots there, but as you grow older you’ll find out that other people are struggling with exactly the same issues. I want you to remember this when you’re having a hard time loving yourself. I want you to remember that you are strong and courageous and that this will pass. I want you to remember that I will always be here for you, no matter what. Finally, I want you to remember that I care about both your mental and your physical health.

But just in case something happens, or we got into a fight, or I’m not as approachable as I’d like to think I will be, let me tell you this: Do not give up on yourself or on your body. It might seem like you and your body are not on the same team all the time, but you should be. Listen to what your body needs. Nourish it. Give it some fruit every now and then; take a bath to relax; try your best to love it especially when you can’t seem to find anything to love. Your body will thank you. And if you’re picking it apart and if you’re looking at the things you consider flaws, remember that someday you will meet someone who will love you for those things. Someone you can be yourself with. Someone who will make you feel like you no longer need to hide.

I hope you’ll never have to read this letter or that it will never apply to you. I truly hope you never feel disgusted by your own body. I hope you have a healthy relationship with it and that your mind never discovers its darkest places. Doubting your self-worth is the worst thing anyone can do to themselves. I wish that someone had told me each of these things when I was your age.

Love,

Mum

pbr