Sophomore Nadia Williams is both strong and independent, but she also struggles with many insecurities. Despite how mature she is, she still finds struggles in day to day life.
When she was younger, she was bullied and made fun of for her height. However now she’s used her smaller size as a building block for her personality, from making jokes about it to learning how to build tougher skin.
Despite the relentless bullying from her peers, she was and still is, a very mature child. Which is one of the many reasons she has always done things independently; from solving personal issues to something less serious, like cooking for herself.
When asked about her insecurities, she said, ¨My height not so much anymore, but… it’s really any physical really I can´t pick just one.¨ One of the many things that have fueled her insecurities is her life long battle with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Which she first realized during her teenage years.
¨I think I first realized it when I came home from sixth grade and I realized all the other girls wore shorts, and played sports, and had what [were] considered nice bodies…I guess I just thought, why couldn’t I look like them too?¨ Since that first experience, she has found her insecurities have only grown worse. But she has found many ways to cope with her BDD, what has helped Nadia is learning how to not internalize what people say or how you view yourself. Coping, in her opinion, is not allowing that negativity to be internalized.
Body dysmorphic disorder is a form of OCD that affects many teens today. The International OCD Foundation defines BDD ¨Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a psychiatric illness in which people misperceive defects in their appearance, disrupting their ability to function in their daily lives with disturbing preoccupations and emotional distress.” These defects are typically obsessed over and hyperfocused on. And many people who suffer from it find daily life difficult and oftentimes distracting.
Nadia has never let it stop her and never will. She hopes to one day find even more happiness and self-acceptance and pursue a career in something she feels passionately about such as journalism, law, or environmental science. She has continuously grown in confidence and hopes to never stop.
¨Authentic Youth: Bens Perspective¨