"As you get older, you become happier with your body," my mum used to tell me. And did I believe her? Of course not! Getting older meant more fat, more stretch marks, and more wrinkles.
However, at the grand old age of 23, I have realised that she is right (as usual). As a teenager, I used to get so hung up over my body. I even remember being about 10 years old and hating the size of my hips. Even at my slimmest point (which happened to be when I was really ill with my depression), I still thought that I was huge and was never particularly happy with how I looked.
But as I've got older I've found myself caring less and less about how I look, and what shape my body is. I think I've just realised that there are more important things in life, and that actually, other people don't particularly care how I look, so why should I?
I've also accepted that this is how my body is, and even if I went on a crazy diet it's not actually going to change that much. All of the females on my mum's side of the family have big hips and a more curvy figure, so I could never be skinny (unless I had some ribs taken out... Definitely not an option when you're scared of needles...).
I generally just don't think about my body that much anymore. I eat what I want, within reason, and just seem to have much more important things on my mind. Getting older has taught me that people aren't going to like me any less because I'm a particular clothes size, or because of my weight, so why should it make me dislike myself?
Society has decided that we all need to be that 'perfect' size 10 and curvy but still slim, but quite honestly I don't see many people around that would actually fit that description, so why are we all so worried about it? There is no 'normal' - everyone is completely different, and I think that should be something that is celebrated.
So basically, the moral of this story is that everyone should just listen to their mums. They are undoubtedly always right. Especially when they tell you that you're gorgeous just the way you are.
You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.
- Amy Bloom