Dedication: i would like to dedicate this story to the boy who stays up every night and talks to me. our relationship will never be romantic, and it’s better that way. thank you for saving my life more times than you should have to. you will always be my hero

i am thirteen years old and i have an overwhelming amount to say. i am also autistic, so i struggle with words. i was seven years old when i was formally introduced to diet culture. it shook my hand and said hello in the form of my mothers voice. she, just like me, struggled with eating. and she expected me to be skinnier than she ever would be. i started modeling at twelve years old and i was faced with standards i could never come close to touching. i was also assaulted at 12 for months on end by a boy on my school bus and his friend. no matter what, you are enough. your body is a gift from the universe and it is loaned to you, not given. do not destroy a body which you will eventually give back to the soil.