Like so many other women, I have been struggling with body insecurities since I was a teenager. Creating art has helped me heal along the way, and if you struggle too, I hope this image and its message can somehow inspire and empower you. Because you are not your cellulitis. You are not your fat stomach, your long nose or your big thighs. You are not as chubby or as skinny or as ugly as your mother or your boyfriend or your second cousin tells you. You are not supposed to be Beyoncé. You are not supposed to be someone’s faceless, flawless yoga body on Instagram. You are not supposed to meet anyone’s impossible expectations or unrealistic standards. You are not a template, and there’s no one else like you. So what are you? That’s up to you. Strong. Smart. Stunning. Mother. Daughter. Woman. Lover. Goddess. Perfect. Imperfect. Ever-changing. A total mess, a role model, everything at once or nothing at all—the choice is yours. So make that choice today. Drop the criticism before you face the mirror. Don’t take shit from anyone—especially yourself. Reach for the stars, leave a legacy, change humanity, but don’t forget to love yourself first.


Watercolor and ink on paper