Self Acceptance… It’s Possible!

Photo Credit: Atiim Jones Photography

Totally self absorbed in the madness of getting lunches ready and juggling 55,000 other things that had to get done before school and work this morning, I heard a news article being featured on the morning show, on the TV in the background. It spoke about a 19 year old girl, who shared a photo of herself (that’s her in the photo above), cellulite and all, and stated that she loved it! It caught my attention because it was real.

I ran over to the TV and watched the story. I saw the photo and her beautiful smile. and thought she was gorgeous. I didn’t see the cellulite, I saw two beautiful girls, full of happiness and excitement, living life and loving it.

As you can see from her quotes, which I have noted below, this gorgeous girl had a mini meltdown when she saw the photo of herself and the cellulite on her legs, at first. I can only guess that she was terrified of what the world would think of her appearance. As she says in her post, she actually thought of manipulating the photo to get rid of the cellulite and wondered why the photographer hadn’t already done that! She says that she didn’t know what to do! But, instead of hiding from the world and feeling horrible about herself, she decided to love the photo and embrace herself for who she was, and forget about society’s stereotype of what all women should look like, because it is false. She obviously decided she was so much more than cellulite, and she is. She is an inspiration to women and girls of all ages.

I stood there and listened, in awe, to this young woman, as she spoke about accepting herself for who she was. A sense of happiness and hope came over me, as I imagined a world of freedom and acceptance for how we look. “Imagine, could my little girl actually grow up in such a world?”, I thought. I hope so.

“Yes, this is what real women actually look like!”, I silently screamed to the world from my kitchen! Good on her for having the courage to show the world reality, not some airbrushed, gene gifted model, who is supposed to represent the essence of women, but falls so far from the mark. This young woman has shown the world how real women look, how they live real lives, how they enjoy it, and how they can actually remember the last time they had a hamburger!

So, I applaud you Victoria Erickson, you are the perfect representation of a real woman, beautiful, intelligent, strong, confident, full of life, with a killer smile and not afraid to use it!

Following are quotes by the gorgeous girl above, Victoria Erickson:

“I’m not the cute blonde on the left, but rather the more prominent, jean-jacket covered, cellulite-charging woman to the right.” – Victoria Erickson

“And the first thing I thought of when I saw this picture was how HAPPY I look: I’m jubilant, radiant, fresh home from my first year of college and ready to celebrate with my hometown best friend. And I should’ve stopped there.” – Victoria Erickson

“But instead, I let my subconscious take over. I let that little voice in the back of my head tell me that I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t enough… or rather I was TOO much. I let the brainwashing, nerve-damaging thoughts seep in and overwhelm my mind, allowing the thoughts to poison my spirit. My mentality went from You look HAPPY!! to Yeah, you look happy… but why? You’re fat. Followed by, Don’t believe me? Just look at that lump of cellulite you call a leg take over the shot and deplete the image of any beauty there may have been.” – Victoria Erickson

“And then I just realized that was irrational. I was going too far with it,’ she said. ‘So I kind of took a step back and re-looked at the image, and then I decided to see it for what I initially did – friendship and fun and just having a good time.” – Victoria Erickson

“Because I’m 19 and I’ve had enough. No more body comparison and emotional affliction. No more distress caused by preconceived notions of body image. No more to any of it.” – Victoria Erickson

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This post originally appeared on The Manifest-Station.

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