This is a commentary on Blythe Baird’s slam poem, “When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny”. This poem points attention to the societal misperceptions that encourage healthy living and fitness. Over the last several decades, people have developed an obsession with perfection. The fashion trends aren't just clothes but also who wears them and how.

Today, our role models are deemed role models because of their appearances, not because of their capabilities, or their brains. As a society, we place importance to what's on the outside, what's physically apparent, over everything else.

What happened to wanting to be strong? 

The mental battle of trying to fight instinct is described by Blythe Baird as only feeling pretty when hungry because hungry means skinny and dissipating into thin air. The process of owning “the kind of silhouette people are supposed to fall in love with” but not owning yourself. The process of seeking revenge on your body.

Sickness isn’t inspiring

It isn’t a fun topic, and eating disorders aren’t extreme diets, they are mental illness People with eating disorders are born with a natural instinct of survival that has essentially turned off because of a rewiring of the brain. They develop the disorder because of a combination of genetic, biochemical, psychological, cultural, and environmental factors. Food is given a particular power to the individual, a control that leaves the person at risk to high levels of stress, anxiety, and potential comorbidity of physical and mental illness.

The whole poem broke my heart, but what really got me - “If you develop an eating disorder when you are already thin to begin with, you go to the hospital. If you develop an eating disorder when you are not thin to begin with, you are a success story.” This hurts because what the poem is really saying is that it’s not the journey, but the destination that matters. That before and after pictures are treasures, that health is allowed to be put second to appearance.

We are seeing men and women in our society suffer and then turning the other cheek because it might only seem like one skipped meal, but that one can turn to all if there's a lack of positive communication and of awareness.  It's unfair to those that fight every day.

Let us be the generation that cares, that helps, and that loves

Let's replace our toxic inclinations to lack confidence and skip breakfast before the beach with steps towards healthy living. I'm tired of the unrealistic expectations so let's have the new trend be all about you and all about being real.  Promoting body positivity and making the world an accepting and beautiful place where people are encouraged to feel comfortable in their own skin and not constantly challenged by what society has trained us to recognize as "pretty".

Loving yourself can be hard at times, and the cycle of negativity around you can become something of habit, but it's not how you will be forever. And working on changing these incorrect perceptions that you have of yourself will take time and cause ache, but then you'll find a peace within yourself that'll warm you completely.

A healthy relationship with food is so important, and many people are willing and able to help you change your world with food so let them because it's time to stop looking in the mirror and hating what you see. It's time to embrace yourself because you have one body in this beautiful life. It's your time to be brave and strong. To eat when you're hungry and to listen to what you truly want.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, you are not alone. And this isn't the end for you.

You are beautiful and bright and unique, you have a story that's still being written.

NEDA Helpline: 1-800-931-2237

National Suicide Hotline: 800-784-2433

Hope Line Network: 1-800-273-TALK

Anorexia Nervosa and Associate Disorders: 1-847-831-3438