If you are struggling with eating disorders or self hate, know that there is hope! Read my Letter to a Girl and know that you are loved just as you are
I found a photo several days ago of an emaciated woman, skin and bones, the threads of her clothing barely hanging to her sickly body. Vacant eyes stared from a hollowed, despairing face. Was it a photos from the Nazi holocaust? Nope, it was a photo a young girl had posted on her profile page to inspire herself (and others) to continue their daily purging.
I recently stumbled across the dark internet world of pro-anorexia/bulimia (pro-ana/thinspo) the other day, and I know well enough that what I have seen doesn’t even scratch the surface. I knew for some time that these sites existed, but I had not encountered them until the last couple weeks.
I have not personally dealt with these terrible struggles of self harm through anorexia or other eating disorders, but my heart aches for people who are struggling with these things and don’t feel like they are enough.
Pro-anorexia/bulimia and thinspiration sites encourage girls and women to continue starving, binging, and purging in order to be as thin as possible, regardless of the consequences.
These sites, blogs, and profiles have made their way onto just about every area of social media, providing tips, sayings, and photographic inspiration to continue the cycle of self-hatred.
It is heartbreaking to see young women hurting themselves, but it is even worse to see others actively encouraging this behavior. I encountered some young women through social media in the last couple weeks who had eating disorders, and I encouraged them to seek help.
But others were pressing them to forge ahead with their daily purging. As a mother, it is scary to even imagine my own daughter encountering this as she gets older.
I want my daughter, and every other girl and woman, to know that their worth is found in more than what they look like on the outside. I have never had an eating disorder, but I hope this Letter to a Girl can still touch the heart of someone who reads it.
Here is a short letter from my heart to any girl or woman who struggles with self-hatred and self-destructive behavior.
You don’t know me, and you may not care who I am, but I can see your struggle and it breaks my heart. I know you don’t believe it, but there can never be a more beautiful you. God crafted you completely unique; you are worth more than you know! Self-hatred is a prison, and guilt, shame, and self-punishment are the bars that hold you in: break free, even if it means reaching out for help. But be cautious who you listen to: not every voice that calls to you belongs to someone who cares. Remember, no matter where you are or how you feel about yourself, nothing can separate you from God’s love, ever. Read the words of this song:
More Beautiful You
Songwriters: Johnny Diaz and Kate York
Little girl fourteen flipping through a magazine
Says she wants to look that way
But her hair isn’t straight, her body isn’t fake
And she’s always felt overweight
Well, little girl fourteen I wish that you could see
That beauty is within your heart
And you were made with such care, your skin, your body and your hair
Are perfect just the way they are
There could never be a more beautiful you
Don’t buy the lies, disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you
Little girl twenty one the things that you’ve already done
Anything to get ahead
And you say you’ve got a man but He’s got another plan
Only wants what you will do instead
Well, little girl twenty one you never thought that this would come
You starve yourself to play the part
But I can promise you there’s a man whose love is true
And He’ll treat you like the jewel you are
So turn around you’re not too far
To back away be who you are
To change your path go another way
It’s not too late, you can be saved
If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights hope to forget
Can disappear, they can all be washed away
By the One who’s strong, can right your wrongs
Can rid your fears, dry all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark distorted view
And with His light, He will show you truth
And again you’ll see through the eyes of a little girl
Remember: You are loved!
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist