When I was training to become an Aerie Ambassador, we did an exercise called “A Love Letter to My ______”. This exercise was meant to have us start thinking about all of the amazing things our body does for us and how we can learn to accept ourselves.
A huge part of learning to love yourself is through self-reflection, it can be through the form of writing in a journal, creating art, speaking with a friend, etc. As a result, I created my own self-reflection, a spin-off on the Aerie love letters, and it helped me learn and think more about how I thought about my body when I was younger and how different my mindset is now.
To my 12-year-old self,
I know how insecure you are feeling, wondering why your jeans come from the women’s section when your friends get theirs from the kids section. I know that you are embarrassed that your legs can’t even fit into your mom’s jeans, and that your sisters are skinnier than you. It’s okay that your thighs are curvier, that you’ve got tiger-stripe stretch marks on your hips, and that your butt is bigger than the other girls. Try not to spend as much time scrutinizing yourself in the mirror; you will grow into your body, I promise. You are and will continue to be beautiful.
Please, don’t try to shave your eyebrows down because girls keep telling you they look like caterpillars. Trust me, in a few years thick and full brows will be trendy, and girls will spend hours drawing theirs on to match how yours look with no effort.
When girls tell you that you need a nose job, turn the other way. They clearly have their own issues they need to address.
Don’t try another restrictive diet with your dad. It’s not healthy or normal for a 12-year-old girl to drink kale smoothies every meal for three weeks and take a hand full of supplements daily to try to drop weight.
Allow teachers and students alike to mispronounce the unique way your name is spelled. In a few years, you are going to get to visit your homeland and meet people with the same name as you!
The boys are going to continue to be jerks, even when you’re twenty, but you have to learn you do not need one to complete your princess fantasy. A true queen doesn’t need a king.
All of your reading and practicing math problems will pay off - let people call you a nerd or a dork, soon enough you’ll be studying what you love at a great university.
Let girls whisper that you have a bubble butt in the hallways, in a few years your body type will be considered sexy.
If you are uncomfortable with boys, you don’t have to do anything with them. And do not worry that you won’t get your first kiss for a few more years; no one is going to judge you.
Hang in there Lidija, in a few years you will learn what it’s like to love yourself, and it will be an incredible journey. You will be able to use your hardships to inspire and help girls from across the nation, and you’ll get to write about what you’re passionate about for large audiences.
I’ll see you in eight years,
If you’re reading this, consider taking a moment to write about what you love about yourself, what makes you unique and beautiful, and don’t limit yourself to physical features, personality traits work as well! Comment below if you want to share your letter!
What better way to move away from the couch and computer screen than to move to a slightly different side of the couch with a good book?!
At first I thought I was just lonely. I felt like I wanted someone in my life, but I also felt like I didn’t have time to properly nurture any budding developments, which led to spirals of anxiety about wasted youth.
One lie that we have always been told is that acne is part of some “geeky pre-cool phase” you need to go through in order to GLO-up
This poem serves to put words to a common feeling among underestimated young women, who are too often mistaken as weak and feeble when they really contain powers much stronger than physical size.
When all kinds of people write stories meaningful to them, with characters that represent more than dominant voices in society, literature has the potential to unleash a new era of understanding.
Woman, like nature, have been carved into the shapes societal tells them they should fit into, until the natural part of us kicks in and we realize that maybe, we do not have to be so straight, so cut, so small.
Defensiveness, anger and embarrassment: the negative reactions when one is catcalled.
Many people see bisexuals as overtly sexual, untrustful, unable to make a decision or not gay enough, inappropriate for children. It is therefore incredibly important for bisexual representation to debunk those rumors.
As much as I love summer nights and longer days, there’s one aspect in particular that I don’t look forward to: shorts.
I’ve always struggled with accepting my body and truly loving myself, which made shopping for clothes both my favorite and most dreaded activity.
If you follow or support any educators or activists for the causes you’re passionate about, it’s important to be vocal and informed about how you support them.
Caption This: I Unfollowed Half My Instagram Feed
If I had a dollar for every time I hear the phrase “boys are intimidated by…” Bitch… I would be a rich, rich woman.
…It follows women wherever we are, wherever we go. It’s the looming presence over the shoulder at the grocery store, or down a dark alley, or pumping gas.
What upset me was that the same fashion media outlets and influencers who will don a $710 “feminist” t-shirt or wear a pin at Fashion Week in support of Planned Parenthood were also reluctant to acknowledge the well-documented complexities of an industry icon
I see self portraiture is a revolutionary act of self love.
Even though I have since had sex, I’m still learning how to best answer that questions.
Mother Nature is resilient though, and so are women.
Think of yourself as a pie. (I prefer blueberry.) The pie is divided into slices, and as the maker of the pie you have control over the size of each one. Hopefully, you have gathered by now that this dessert is a metaphor for life.
The Michigan Difference” being its spectacular education, athletics and unparalleled resources...but the real Michigan difference is that the women at the university are saints and the men are pigs
Here are six diverse superheroes who need to grace our screens next.
Do you ever wonder what people actually care about?
In most cultures, there’s a good chance you’ll run into a handful of outdated cultural norms.
Skewed and false versions of history presented to us with a neat bow on top, meant to continue systems of oppression and inequality.
Even our own vision of ourselves is tainted by the sexist agenda we are constantly subjected to.
With any form of branding, comes the valuation
We have all judged someone else because of their style choices, and we have all been untrue to ourselves when we refuse to wear what we want because of the fear of others.
The Girl is Using Poetry To Change Society.
Inspired by the line “I eat mean like air”, I wrote the last stanza of this poem
Author: Lidija Jurovich
Lidija is a rising junior at the University of Maryland pursuing a degree in Marketing with a minor in Non-Profit Leadership. Growing up on the West Coast, Lidija has learned that traveling and meeting new people is one of her favorite things to do. She hopes to create her own non-profit clothing company with proceeds benefiting victims of child abuse or pursue a career in marketing for empowering and inclusive clothing or beauty companies. Currently, she is a brand ambassador for Aerie, where she works to promote body positivity and empowerment on UMD’s campus.