Learning to Love

submitted by Brynn Bartram
Brynn Bartram (sophomore).

Sophomore Brynn Bartram is on a journey to see herself in a new light. 

“Now when I look in the mirror, I think ‘she’s cool, she’s pretty bad, she’s gorgeous, she’s confident’,” Bartram said. “A year ago I would have thought so many bad things about myself that I can’t even think of now.”

Bartram, a part of HOSA and advanced science courses, tried to achieve perfection in all areas of her life. She constantly wished she had a body like her favorite celebrities or people walking past her in the hallway. Once she got into high school, Bartram realized how negatively her body image was affecting her. 

“[My body image] definitely put me in a mindset where I needed to exercise, start eating healthier, change my lifestyle and try to get the perfect body. That was difficult for me, Bartram said. “Eventually I realized there’s no reason to create that image when I’m the person creating an image for myself.”

Today, Bartram makes it her goal to view her beauty through what other people love about her, rather than her appearance. She reciprocates this love onto her friends when she hears them giving the same put-downs to themselves that she once said to her reflection.

“As people we’re definitely going to have doubts about herself, but [we should] try our best to overcome those doubts and think if they will matter in a few days, a few minutes, a few years,” Bartram said. “Because if we’re happy with ourselves that’s all that matters.”

submitted by Annalisa Kercher
Kercher during her life-changing shopping trip freshman year.

Love from others is exactly what pushed Annalisa Kercher through the darkest moments with her disorder.

Two senior girls took Kercher under their wing when she was a freshman. One day, thy decided to take Kercher shopping- a day Kercher believes changed her life.

“I had never had a clothes shopping experience where I hadn’t cried until that time,” Kercher said. “They planted a seed of self worth in me. I understood that I do have worth and I do deserve to be alive.”

Submitted by Annalisa Kercher
Kercher feeling confident while out shopping recently.

As a senior, Kercher has stepped into the shoes of those who helped her before and is now an advocate for body positivity. She runs a Snapchat story showing people of all sizes at all angles, even if they are stereotypically deemed unflattering. In the future, Kercher wants to start an Instagram page and YouTube channel where she can hopefully reach more people.

Most importantly, she still understands how mentally exhausting it is to keep up with beauty standards, whether you are fat or thin, straight or curvy, male or female. Kercher still has a long way to go before she can accept herself without any doubts. Someday, she hopes everyone learns to look in the mirror and love what they see. 

“Confidence is a constant battle you have to fight with yourself,” Kercher said. “We need to end the body stigma and know that what you look like, how intelligent you are, what your grades are and even your what you ACT score is doesn’t define you. You’re the only one who can define yourself. It’s everything put together that shows how amazing you are.”

What defines you?

Go Back to Mirror, Mirror