Proud2Bme | Breaking the "Perfection" Mold

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Breaking the "Perfection" Mold

By River Zain Ceballos--Hey everyone! It's an honor to write another blog for the new Proud2BMe website! The last time I spoke to everybody, I shed some light on my personal struggles with my self-esteem, confidence and my past eating disorder. I wrote about the importance of speaking up and sharing my story to help others who are going through the similar things.

These days, I am doing much better. I've sought out professional help for my issues and now I speak up when I'm feeling down. I've realized that bottled up emotions are what trigger my dangerous behavior and after years of battling the person I see in the mirror, I was mentally exhausted and wanted help...for me.

At this moment in time, I've never been more comfortable in my own skin. Do I freak out every now and then and overthink what I put into my mouth? The truth is, YES. I'd be lying to you all if I said that I didn't. I'm human; we're all human. This is all a part of the road to recovery, and there are no days off. But I realize that I've come a LONG way and there is no need to back track or beat myself up when I eat something sweet or have a couple of slices of pizza, and neither should any of you who are currently struggling. We're in this together! I absolutely understand how lonely you can feel and how it seems that no one understands you. But I do. I've been there, in your position...for a little too long. But for the most part, these days I'm the most secure I've ever been and it really shows. Everyone in my family can see the difference. My peers can tell the difference, too.

I walk with my head a little higher, have a little pep in my step and am more social. I'm not afraid to walk into a room and assume that everyone is judging me on how I look. Since you last read about me, I booked a small but pivotal role in a film festival movie that is currently in production. I am going to appear in my hometown's biggest and most respected magazine in a feature that touches base on all things me. I am told this is a mental health/inspirational issue and I'm truly honored to have been approached for this magazine. I will represent and educate the youth in my hometown. Representing my hometown in this way is very special to me. This is exactly why I do what I do. I intend to live out loud and continue to share my story in hopes of helping at least one boy or girl.

I've also filmed two music videos...one in which I played the role of "the boyfriend." That meant I had to get really touchy feely and express intimacy with my cast mate, which is something I would NEVER have done in the past out of fear of her rejecting me or people watching the music video and thinking "She's such a beautiful girl...why is she with HIM?!" Those are the thoughts that used to haunt me, set me back and that's how hard I used to be on myself. Now I'm just an all over more confident guy. I even take bolder choices when it comes to fashion. I've always been more "alternative" and now I can proudly express myself through my wardrobe.

I've also recently posed for urban ink tattoo magazine. I love expressing my stories and experiences through art, in any form. I cherish and am very proud of my tattoos--they remind me where I've been. I have a lot of positive quotes on me that I can read as a daily reminder to keep me going and to stay strong. I even have stomach tattoos now that I'm not afraid to show off! Sure I'm no Zac Efron or David Beckham, but I am me, and I can honestly say that I'm completely comfortable with that. I now also work as a print model...something I never thought I'd have the confidence or the courage to pursue. I also continue to educate our youth and young men through the foundations "Men Get Eating Disorders Too" based in the UK, the National Eating Disorders Association and the Jed Foundation and Love Is Louder, which were both founded by MTV and actress Brittany Snow.

I've been told that I am breaking the mold of "perfection" (whatever the true definition of that is) and thriving in this industry just the way I am, proudly. I promise you that there is no better feeling than being comfortable in your own skin. I want everyone reading to know, you are unlike anyone else that walks this planet and that's truly a BEAUTIFUL thing. You are a limited edition and cannot be replaced...please don't forget that! We all have voices, don't be afraid to use yours. You never know who you'll help and inspire.

We live in a society that judges us and shoves us in categories depending on our style, weight, waist size, etc. and I'm here to break that stigma. Our originality and uniqueness are what make us who we are. I am thankful that I truly understand and accept this. I wish I would have recognized this a lot sooner, because maybe then I would've had better school memories, maybe I would've had the confidence to try out for the football team or the lead in the school play. But that's the past and this is the future. No more wasted time--I'm going after my dream exactly as I am, full speed ahead. I want young people to know that we, as humans, are not meant to be perfect. We're meant to be WHOLE. In order to achieve that, we must embrace who we are, love ourselves, go after what we want, never doubt ourselves and do not fear...fear is a wasted emotion. Everything comes full circle and no matter what, in the end we'll be okay. I truly hope that anyone reading this who has body image issues or isn't confident in who they are can take something from my posts and what I shared. I am River Zain Ceballos and I am Proud2BMe. ❤️

Related:

"I Have a Voice and I Intend to Use It."

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About Us

Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

Proud2Bme was first launched in the Netherlands by Riverduinen, a mental health organization that has licensed the concept to the National Eating Disorders Association. Unless otherwise noted, all original content on this site is copyright The National Eating Disorders Association. The Proud2Bme brand, logos, and trademarks are property of Rivierduinen.