1st photo: age 9, happy enjoying life nestled in the safe cocoon that is childhood. My life was pretty much perfect. I loved school, my family and friends. One day the school weigh me. We receive a letter home a week later stating I am overweight and something needs to be done. Surely a child’s happiness comes before society’s desire for everyone to be in a healthy weight range? Apparently not.
Photos 2 and 3: the starts of an illness that would take away so so much. I’m starting to question myself and everything I’d ever thought. ‘I will be happier when I’m skinny’ ‘I will start high school as one of the pretty girls’. No child should ever have these thoughts. I’m gradually starting to lose myself and push my loved ones away.
Photos: 3, 4, and 5 a little girl on the verge of death. Just 12 years old and consumed by an illness that is making her want to die. Skinny didn’t bring me happy it brought me anything but. I should’ve been out eating sweets and making friends, instead we have a hollow shell. I believed the only way out was to die, then the pain would stop. This is the start of my long and tiresome recovery journey. 2 weeks hospitalised, 9 months inpatient and a lot of perseverance.
Photo number 6: me now age 13 slowly rebuilding a life that an illness I never asked for took away from me. I struggle I cry but I keep going. I keep going because in my mind there is no other option. I want life, and I plan on living.
I have to admit I am angry. I am angry that I, like so many other girls, have been forced to grow up too quickly. I am angry that I got lumped with this illness. I am angry that even though the average age for eating disorder sufferers is getting younger and younger that they still choose to weigh children at primary school. I am angry that society still idolises being thing like it is the answer to all happiness. No one I repeat no one should have to suffer the ordeal that is an eating disorder. So please let’s stop shoving weight loss diets and fitness programmes into every corner of this earth where young children are so susceptible to see it. Please, let little girls be little girls.