After a few hectic months of completing exams, writing my thesis, doing an internship and ultimately graduating cum laude with my master’s degree, I finally have time to do other things, like reading the Vanity Fair issue of November 2013. It has a feature in it about Jay Z that, surprisingly, changed the way I perceive idols and ideals.
Spring is in the air! You can tell from the summer sounds that fill the city, people filling terraces, and waiters filling the customers’ empty beer glasses. A rosy blush from the sun on their cheeks; pictures of flowers and sunglass-selfies on social media. People lying in the park with magazines — magazines that will soon feature “Ten Ways to Get that Bikini Body” and “Twenty Tips to Get in Shape for Summer.”
“I’m having a bad hair day,” I tell my boyfriend on a very regular basis. Because really, when do I have a good hair day? Almost never, for I am my worst critic. My boyfriend, however, looks at my hair, then seems confused since he does not see the difference with yesterday’s hair (which he liked). This is the problem: I am so absorbed by my own self-criticism that I counteract what I want to achieve: a better version of me.
“Omg I really admire that you dare posting a picture with no make-up on,” is one of the regular comments on fashion or beauty blogs when someone posts a “naked” picture. “Not that you need it,” they add. Not that you need it? No one needs make-up.
The last thing I expected from my anorexia was that it would bring me something good. After all, it had ruined my health and who I was, and the worst of all was the impact it had had on other people — people I love. I was right not to expect anything from my anorexia, but I was wrong to underestimate myself, my ambitions, and my desire to help other people, incited precisely by the thing I despised most.