TikToker Elyse Myers is going viral for a message that many may need to hear in this season.
“It is no secret that as a child, and specifically as a middle schooler, I was a little bit…round,” she began.
“That would have been one way to describe me. Other ways that would have been more appropriate? Funny, cute, has curly hair, determined, sarcastic, witty, smart, talented, musical—so many ways to describe me, but the one thing that people loved to latch onto was the size of my body.”
“Was I ashamed of that?” she asked. “No. Other people seemed to be. You would be shocked at how determined other kids and adults were at making sure that I knew that they knew that I was larger than other kids my age.”
“I was made aware of the size of my body long before I was ever taught how to love it,” continued.
“The audacity of a man to walk up to a 7th-grade girl, in front of her friends, and comment on her appearance in any way is disgusting,” she went on.
“I met that man for one hour when I was like 11, and I am 28 and still undoing the damage that that one sentence had on my life. So if you are an adult, if you are around children—if you are around humans in any way—I want you to understand how powerful your words are,” she shared.
“As easily as they can tear someone down, they can build someone right back up, but it’s going to take a hell of a lot more work to build them up after you’ve torn them down.”
“I was taught how to perceive my body through the eyes of other people that didn’t love me, that didn’t care about me, that thought they could just make a passing comment and move on with their life, and I carried that forever,” said Myers.
“We have to teach people how to speak kindly about themselves, how to love themselves, how to see them as beautiful and worthy and more than just what they look like,” she concluded “If I had as much attention poured into the things that I was good at, and I cared about, and I loved, I would have been a completely different kid.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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