By Bridget Fitzpatrick

People think I'm crazy when I say I love myself. It's true. I have gained total, complete self-love. Of course, sometimes I get hard on myself, but I always go back to the fact that I love myself. I hate when people tear themselves down, and I almost feel it is awkward. People think it's weird that I love myself, but it's true. 

Gaining this love wasn't easy. When I was younger, around seven and eight, my own brother used to call me obese and joke about my weight. My mom would try to push weight loss programs onto me. This  didn't help my self esteem as I grew up. When I was about twelve and thirteen, I hated myself so much. It was my lowest point in life. I was constantly sad, suicidal, and hating everything. I hated my weight and how I looked in general. I went days without eating. I cried myself to sleep and hid behind baggy band tees and tried to not care about clothing. I also disregarded my appearance and constantly looked like I just rolled out of bed. I cleaned up a bit the next year, but I still really hated myself. I constantly complained on Twitter that I was worthless and no one cared about me, and I truly believed this. That's when, in November of 2014, my freshman year in high school, my best friend at the time yelled at me and told me how much it sucked seeing that stuff. She told me that if I stopped caring about everyone else I'd be happier. So I did. I started dressing for myself and being more positive. This is around the time I started using makeup. I use makeup for my personal pleasure, not for anyone else. I'm not very good at art, but I'm good at makeup, and that's my art form. The rest of that year, I started experimenting more with makeup, and buying clothes that made me happy. 

To gain this self-love, I dressed how I wanted, not how it seemed acceptable for a plus size girl to dress. I bought crop tops, and I wore bikinis this summer. I also became a huge advocate for the body positivity movement and started posting about my love for myself and learning from others. Now, I'm open to my size, and I love myself more than I ever imagined I would.

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