They Were At A Beauty Pageant, So She Decided To Tell A Room Full Of Strangers Her Deepest Secret

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Sometimes what we need to talk about most, comes with the biggest stigma attached. Whether you’re a teenager or way past grown, some challenges don’t discriminate.

Up to 24 million people of ALL ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder. That crazy number includes over half a million teens. The girl in this video is one of them. But her story may not have been the same, if her best friend didn't surprise her by doing something incredible.

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Sivan: So, I was invited to this beauty pageant that my friend was in, and I've never been to a beauty pageant before. I went because I wanted to support her, and it was a like huge deal. And there were like hundreds of people there, and she shared her story in front of all these people and it was my story, basically.

In my freshman year of high school, things just got a little crazy, and I moved across the country to Connecticut. I was in a bad situation there. I had absolutely no control of my life at all, and the only thing that I could control was what I ate, you know, what I put into my body. And so, that turned into an eating disorder. It was a very stressful and scary part in my life and just very traumatizing. And so, yeah. But I really didn't tell anybody about it. You know, I felt very uncomfortable and very fearful of telling people that I had an eating disorder.

And she just stood up there, and she just told hundreds of people what she was going through, and it was really beautiful. In that moment when I was listening to her in this beautiful ball gown with hair and make-up, pretty girl. But I know that she won that pageant because of how beautiful she was on the inside. You know, I still struggle with it every single day, and I'm at a point in my recovery where I'm starting to think about not just what people think of me when they look at me, about who I am inside. Hearing her story and it inspired me to keep going. When I think of the word "beautiful," I think of my friend, April.

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About:

"WORDS with Sivan" is part of the I Am That Girl campaign, which encourages girls around the world to fearlessly “love, express and be who they are.” To get involved in the movement, follow them on Facebook or Twitter. If you think you may need help with an eating disorder, drop these folks an email or give them a call here.

The stats mentioned are based on oodles of info collected by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, National Eating Disorders Association, National Institute of Mental Health, and Census for 2012.

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