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We Need to Stop Romanticising Our Teenage Bodies


* This story discusses disordered eating habits and self-harm. If this story is triggering please contact LifeLine Australia at 13 11 14.

Whenever I look back at photos of myself in high school I get jealous of my teen self.

The first thought that always comes to mind is, "I wish I looked like that now."

"I wish I skinny like I was back then."

"I wish my arms were slimmer like before."

Yep that's right folks I get jealous of my 14 year old body.

Me, Demi Lynch, 24 year old journalist is jealous of my 14 year old self just because I had a slimmer body.

That's ridiculous though, I mean why am I jealous of a body that had just hit puberty?

Why am I essentially jealous of a child's body?

It doesn't make sense.

And it's not like when I was 14 I loved my body - I HATED IT!

I hated the fact I was a size 10-12 and not a size 8.

I hated the fact I was so much taller than everyone else in my grade.

I hated the fact my stomach was never flat.

I hated the fact my boobs hadn't grown in yet.

I had so much hatred for my body when I was a teenager yet somehow I forget those feelings and just remember the fact I had a smaller body than I do now.

So often I romanticise my teenage self and my teenage body; sometimes I even think could life have been better if I still had that body.

But despite my pre-puberty body being smaller and slimmer I had such a bad relationship with my body.

I would self-harm if I did not follow my strict diet guidelines.

I would spend days only eating tuna and steamed green vegetables then eat an entire cake the very next day out of frustration for not losing weight.

I used to constantly weigh myself and count calories religiously.

I would argue with my Mum because I would refuse to eat the dinners she cooked if they had "too many calories."

I used to be OBSESSED with Australia's Next Top Model.

I will always remember one of the contestants getting flack from the judges because she weighed 60kg when most of the other models weighed between 45kg-55kg.

She was considered the "plus size, full figure" model.

By watching that, as someone that used to weigh 60kg, I thought I must weigh below 60kg if I ever am to be considered 'worthy.'

I also used to watch the problematic show The Swan - I could never watch a show like that today but back then I was hooked on the possibility of receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars of free plastic surgery like those 'lucky' women on the show did.

I was 14 and already thought I needed a tummy tuck, arm lift and a boob job.

Did I mention the women would then participate in a pageant once they had their makeovers. Source: The Daily Edge

See this is what baffles me - 14 year old me hated her body, hated everybody, ultimately hated herself.

Yet still in my adult life I get jealous of 14 year old Demi all because of how I looked.

Well it needs to stop - I need to stop romanticising my teenage body.

14 year old Demi thought she was fat because she was a size 10-12. She always dreamt of becoming a size 8.

24 year old Demi is fat and now a size 22. And now her dream is living in a body she can love.

14 year old Demi always hated the fact her stomach was never flat.

24 year Demi knows she’ll never have a flat stomach and that’s okay.

14 year old Demi would punish herself if she didn’t stick to her strict diet.

24 year old Demi is just trying to work on her mental health and live a healthy, happy fulfilled life.

Hopefully one day soon I'll look back at photos of my teen self and not be jealous but instead think "look how far you've come."

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