Proud2Bme | My Mom Had Anorexia: What I Learned From Her and What I Learned Since

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My Mom Had Anorexia: What I Learned From Her and What I Learned Since

By Kathleen Johnson--I grew up with a mom who was struggling with an eating disorder.

Although her anorexic behaviors had subsided by the time she had children, to this day it is still clear to see that that mindset continues to live on within her.

Growing up, my mom would put pictures of supermodels on our fridge to remind us not to eat too much. Every time she was planning on going out of the house, she would ask me if she looked fat, which always made me question if she thought I looked fat too.

By the age of 16, I was going through magazines myself, not to look at the clothes, but to look at the women. I would tape the advertisements to my wall, idolizing them as if that was the goal that I should be living up to. I struggled with accepting my own body for a very long time. I would become very frustrated as to why my body just didn’t look like the girls in the magazines.

I had the privilege to work with the Proud2Bme on Campus campaign at California State University, Northridge and share my story to help support other young individuals who may be struggling with their own body image.  

In the beginning of the semester, I wasn’t sure what I was really going to learn about myself and the effects of body image.  As I began to study various theories and became involved in our project, I got a clear perspective of exactly how much we really are affected by media images and messages that bombard us about our bodies. I was greatly impacted and have now started applying these concepts to my own life.

I realize now that the thousands of advertisements we are subjected to every day affect us in some way. Whether or not we realize it, as we grow up we are conditioned to have a certain experience and expectation of what beauty actually looks like.  So many young men and women are struggling with such obsessive behaviors towards their bodies that it almost seems normal. Although it has taken me a long time to feel good about my body, today I am happy to say that I am truly proud to be me!

About this blogger: Kathleen Johnson studies Journalism at California State University, Northridge. She has a great passion for self development and supporting individuals in discovering their own inner beauty. 

For more by CSUN students:

What's Real?: My Body Image Activism Journey

Signed, A Skinny Girl

Holidays in a Latino Culture: Greetings From A "Gordito"

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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.