It's rough out there for people who don't love their body. This blogger wants to change that.

'Every single baby step toward positive body image and attitude should be celebrated.'

Posting these real photos of myself is one of the scariest things I've ever done.

These photos are untouched. All photos taken by Emil Costrut, provided by me.


But I'm doing it anyway, and here's why.

I'd love to be one of those people who doesn't care about what others say about me.

But when you're already insecure to begin with, having those insecurities mocked is a little bit difficult to overcome. I've been called "ugly," "fat," and "gross" many times over the years, both online and in "real life."

If you keep hearing these things often enough, you have to make quite a big effort to stop believing them; only then can you still feel beautiful.

Today, I feel beautiful.

I used to hear: Ugly. Fat. Gross. Stop Eating. Kill Yourself.

But it took some time to get here.

When I was little, I was skinny — the kind of skinny that caused people to jokingly ask my mom why she wasn't feeding me. Then, one New Year's Eve, I got a very bad case of food poisoning, which lead to my hospitalization.

The hormone they used to kick start my liver (which had failed) caused weight gain, so much so that a few months after leaving the hospital, I weighed almost twice as much as before.

I started feeling insecure about my body when I was in primary school.

Some people say small kids are angels, but I beg to differ. No one can be quite as cruel as a kid. I was bullied for my weight, for my teeth, for my style. At that age, it was very hard not to listen.

Even when I was a child, I always loved browsing through my mom's glossy magazines. They were a safe place for me for a long time, especially when I was being bullied.

However, no matter how many pages I flipped, I never saw anyone who looked like me. My body type was only given as a negative example, as something you had to get rid of, as something that was mocked by society. The "juiciest" news in tabloids, besides sex scandals, came when a celebrity gained weight.

As a developing teenager influenced by what society defined as a model and ideal body for women, I became obsessed with my weight.

There were several years during which I felt worthless, unlovable, and ugly because I thought the only thing that mattered was being skinny. At one point, it got so bad that whenever I entered a room, I would first analyze everyone to see if I was the heaviest in the room.

Even now, it's very hard for me to lose weight. That's why my biggest fear for years, since I've been blogging, was that people would see what I really looked like and judge me.

It's easy to hide a little extra weight with the right clothes, the right angles, and Photoshop. We've never edited anything excessively on my blog, Wings for Liberty. But from today on, I don't want to liquify anything at all, not even a little bit.


Why am I sharing these photos of myself?

Because I want curvy teenagers like me to be able to see girls like themselves, all prettied up in fancy clothes and photos.

I want them to feel proud of their bodies. Some days it's hard to not listen to the mean voices, but if you don't learn love yourself, who will?

It's not going to happen overnight. Dark thoughts tend to linger much longer than the good ones.

But every single baby step toward positive body image and attitude should be celebrated. Your beauty and value are represented by so much more than your body.

Now I see: Honest. Beautiful. Brave. Proud. Happy.

By posting these photos of myself, I'm facing my biggest fear so that I can kill, once and for all, my biggest insecurity. I am honest and unedited in these photos, both in my body and thoughts.

Most importantly, I'm proud of how I look.

Family

I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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Policing women's bodies — and by consequence their clothes — is nothing new to women across the globe. But this mother's "legging problem" is particularly ridiculous.

What someone wears, regardless of gender, is a personal choice. Sadly, many folks like Maryann White, mother of four sons, think women's attire — particularly women's leggings are a threat to men.

While sitting in mass at the University of Notre Dame, White was aghast by the spandex attire the young women in front of her were sporting.

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Men are sharing examples of how they step up and step in when they see problematic behaviors in their peers, and people are here for it.

Twitter user "feminist next door" posed an inquiry to her followers, asking "good guys" to share times they saw misogyny or predatory behavior and did something about it. "What did you say," she asked. "What are your suggestions for the other other men in this situation?" She added a perfectly fitting hashtag: #NotCoolMan.

Not only did the good guys show up for the thread, but their stories show how men can interrupt situations when they see women being mistreated and help put a stop to it.

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