Hello everyone, as Miss Teenage Ottawa 2021, I want to shine light upon an issue that has affected me and many other teenagers across the nation; body image issues.

As a dancer, I’ve always had a complicated relationship with my mind and body. People have sometimes pointed out that I was “built like a boy” or “too muscular for a girl” which really made me think about how feminine and appealing my body looked. I either wanted to lose weight, gain weight, lose muscle or gain muscle and it never seemed like it was enough.

Body positivity should be talked about more in our society and segregating an individual because of their appearance will not benefit anyone. Spread love to boost the confidence of others, there’s no pain in that!

Using some online resources while healthily working out to truly FEEL GOOD made me absolutely fall in love with my body. I feel so incredibly strong and am keeping myself active to become a powerful woman, not the girl who let social media’s standards and the discrimination from others make her feel lesser than beautiful.

If you struggle with your body image I’m here to tell you that nothing will ever be enough if you have the mindset of perfection. You need to give yourself breaks, appreciate the body you’ve been given, eat enough, eat healthy, stay active and only do things for YOUR well-being, not the satisfaction of others.

You are loved, appreciate and absolutely stunning,

Melika, Miss Teenage Ottawa 2021

Written by: Melika