Updated: Jul 3
*I recommend listening to her song before reading this post (included at the end!). I have included some of the lyrics from her song throughout my post. I do not own rights to the video or her lyrics.
The first time I heard this song, it was like Demi Lovato had been reading my mind since middle school. I remember flipping through Teen magazine as an adolescent, looking at all these fashionable, young, and thin women wondering, “Why can’t I look like this? They look so perfect.” Compared to these women, everything was “wrong” about me. I wore size 20-24 jeans. I was not fashionable (in my eyes) because trendy stores did not make clothes in my size.
"Voices in my head make up my entourage. ‘Cause I’m a black belt when I’m beating up on myself." This was basically my mantra through all high school and part of undergrad. I was horribly bullied for most of my childhood and even into high school because I looked different. Because I lived in a larger body and wore “mom” jeans. Because I was smart and was not afraid to answer the teachers’ questions. The sad thing is the words that were said to me were not as bad as the words I said to myself. “You are not good enough. No matter what you do or how you look, you will never be good enough.”
I was so excited to go to college. I saw it as an opportunity to reinvent myself. I did not have to be the shy, awkward, smart, and fat girl that had been my identity for all high school. I could finally be myself, once I figured out who that girl was.
I flourished in undergrad. I worked my butt off to pay for college and to finish my pre-med degree (clearly, I became a doctor…). I met amazing friends who liked me for being me. Most importantly, I became fed up with the voice inside my head that told me I was not good enough. That my weight defined me. "That I was not beautiful. I wonder when I love me is enough (yeah, yeah, yeah)."
After undergrad, I took a few years off from school to figure out my life. During that time, I really focused on learning to love myself and building up my self-confidence. I bought cute clothes that flattered my curves (shout out to Torrid!). I had fun experimenting with makeup and even created a YouTube channel to show off my skills.
However, what helped the most was working to silence those inner voices. Every time I felt the urge to say something negative about myself, I turned around with something positive. I made sure to say positive things about my body too, since so much of my self-defined worth was still tied to my physical beauty. “You are intelligent. You are compassionate. You have a great smile. You have a banging body.” "I’m my own worst critic. Talk a whole lot of shit."
My confidence has grown so much from the young girl who struggled to survive high school. I have accomplished so much in my education and career. My self-defined value is no longer tied to my physical appearance, at least not as much as it used to be. What can I say? I continue to grow as a person. I still have rough days when those voices sneak into my head. But then I put on red lipstick and a great dress and look in the mirror to tell myself how freaking beautiful I am, inside and out. "But I’m a ten out of ten even when I forget it."
If you have not seen the music video or heard Demi Lovato’s new song, please check it out! The comment section alone on her video shows we have all been in the same boat at some point in time. There is so much pressure to be perfect and live up to society’s unrealistic expectation of what our physical appearance “should” be. Remember, you are enough just the way you are in this moment. "You’re a ten out of ten, don’t you ever forget it."