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Repairing My Negative Body Image, One Step at a Time

I became obsessed with my appearance at a young age. saw a warped reflection of myself whenever I looked in a mirror, and for years I struggled with depression, anxiety, and, most of all, a negative body image. When I turned 18 my current agency contacted me for representation. They stand for dismantling beauty standards, combatting tokenism, and supporting healthy lifestyles for their models. Today, I’m still repairing a distorted mental picture of myself and breaking negative thought patterns, and I’m improving, step by step. 

Self-Care is Mental Health Awareness

Self-care to me is maintaining a balance between mind and body, but for a long time, I didn’t acknowledge the connection. It took me until I was 22 years old to realize the need for healing. 

Self-Care is Caring for the Planet

How can you be the brightest light in somebody else’s life if you’re not feeling cared for yourself? But if we’re always putting just ourselves first, how can we also focus on caring for the community around us? If we’re only giving back to our individual selves, what damage are we creating to our environment along the way? What are we depleting for our own self-benefit?

What Self-Care Means In Our Community

As the world faces a pandemic—alone together, as we’re called to weather the storm in solitude—we’re asking our community: what does self-care mean to you From the YTTP family and our community, here’s what some of us are doing to practice self-care.

Self-Care is Going Into Nature

As a black woman who faces daily racial traumas, who unpacks those and explains cultural appropriation for non-POC, my days are stressful. I look to nature for self-therapy. I truly believe that we are mini-earths. We have our own ecosystems within us, trying to adapt to the stresses of our own unpredictability. To ensure that my physical body can endure a lot of storms, I spend my days outdoors either for work or leisure. 

Self-Care Is Leaning Into the Discomfort of Uncertainty to Live Honestly

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” For me, it was an astronaut. Curiosity about the unknown was always a part of my nature. I remember the freedom and excitement I had as a child, so pure and honest—then life happened. I veered away from what it meant to be myself, and I was yearning for it back. As I began to discover self-love through self-care, things became more clear, life became more exciting, and I became happier. 

Photography courtesy of Becca Menichetti