If we keep accepting this as reality, if we keep dieting and trying to fit into the stereotypes, or if we keep apologizing for not fitting into the stereotypes, we're doomed. No matter who you are, it's almost impossible to be "pretty" and "thin" to everyone. You will always be "fat" or "ugly" to someone.
Sitting there, feeling my emotions spinning crazily out of my control, I was struck by the lightning bolt notion that I might have an eating disorder. The idea that I might not know my own mind well enough to detect denial formed a dark, scary rabbit hole, and my emotions were sucked into even more anxiety.
I am not blaming one parent, one teacher, a single comment, or the fact that kids are not 100-percent protected from the dangers of a very different society we face today. That simply is not realistic. However, the fact is, we have to be diligent in the way we extend messages to our youth, and what impact that may have -- whether we see the ramifications right away or not.