haylie and hilary

What Dreams Are Made Of (Full Version)
Yani Gellman & Haylie Duff & Hilary Duff
What Dreams Are Made Of (Full Version)

What Dreams Are Made Of 

I merged both the Ballad Version and the Original Track together so it could sound more like the movie.

↳ so 2000's ; a mix for those days when you're feeling nostalgic. -- 41 songs from 2000 - 2007 { listen here }

01. oops..! i did it again – britney spears 02. bye bye bye – nsync 03. i want candy – aaron carter 04. survivor – destiny’s child 05. move it like that – baha men 06. sk8er boi – avril lavigne 07. jenny from the block – jennifer lopez 08. a thousand miles – vanessa carlton 09. here without you – three doors down 10. stacy’s mom – fountains of wayne 11. cinderella – the cheetah girls 12. call me, beep me – christina milian 13. pieces of me – ashlee simpson 14. 1985 – bowling for soup 15. my cinderella – lil romeo 16. unwritten – natasha bedingfield 17. drama queen – lindsay lohan 18. my happy ending – avril lavigne 19. our lips are sealed – hilary & haylie duff 20. beautiful soul – jesse mccartney 21. come clean – hilary duff 22. hollaback girl – gwen stefani 23. wake up – hilary duff 24. bad day – daniel powter 25. beverly hills – weezer 26. i found a way – drake bell 27. pon don replay – rhianna 28. do you believe in magic – aly & aj 28. cool – gwen stefani 30. pop princess – click 5 31. if we were a movie – hannah montant 32. too little too late – jojo 33. we’re all in this together – high school musical cast 34. push it to the limit – corbin bleu 35. he said she said – ashley tisdale 36. nobody’s perfect – hannah montana 37. see you again – miley cyrus 38. potential breakup song – aly & aj 39. hold on – jonas brothers 40. bet on it – troy bolton

songs that sound like lipgloss and candy

01. hey princess // allstar weekend 02. boom boom boom boom // vengaboys 03. downtown girl // hot chelle rae 04. gold // victoria justice 05. love me like that // r5 06. i want candy // aaron carter 07. i wish // cher lloyd & t.i. // 08. clumsy // fergie 09. all you had to do was stay // taylor swift 10. haven’t had enough // marianas trench 11. me & my girls // fifth harmony 12. material girls // hilary & haylie duff 13. kiss me kiss me // 5 seconds of summer 14. i really like you // carly rae jepsen 15. body language // jesse mccartney 16. she looks so boom clap // 5 seconds of summer/charli xcx 17. beauty and a beat // justin bieber & nicki minaj 18. crazy 4 u // big time rush 19. candyman // christina aguilera 20. wannabe // spice girls 21. pop princess // the click five 22. domino // jessie j 23. your love is my drug // ke$ha 24. closer // tegan and sara 25. pretty girl rock // keri hilson 26. young & single // jackson guthy 27. toes // lights 28. love you like a love song // selena gomez & the scene 29. love drunk // boys like girls 30. sugar rush // cash cash ////////// listen

My Experience with Body Image: The Full Story

The other day one of my friends asked me how I became so body positive and confident. I didn’t really have a good answer because I had never really thought of it. In that moment, the past 18 years of my life flashed before my eyes as I finally realized how far I’ve come and I mean REALLY realized how far I’ve come. I mean, I’ve done a complete 180 as a human being. So then I began to think… How did I get this way? How did I get through all those awful years of self loathing and body hatred? How did I get through that and then end up like this? In recent years, I became a really big advocate for body positivity and self love but I’ve never really shared my full story… with anyone. So here it is. Here is everything. Here is where I started and here is where I ended up. And hopefully hearing my journey can help you figure out where you’d like to end yours. 

The first time I ever felt ashamed of my body was when I was in the 2nd grade. I was 7 years old and we were doing a math project. Our teacher had told us that for this project, we were going to be using our weight as the data. Initially, that statement didn’t mean much to me but as I got on the scale, I quickly realized that I weighed more than the rest of my friends. Everyone was asking each other how much they weighed and I sat and waited for someone to ask me the dreaded question. As expected, People made their rounds and asked me how much I weighed. My mind was racing and I decided that lying was my best option. I picked the same weight as my best friend, a weight that was about 8 pounds less than my own. Looking back on it, 8 pounds doesn’t seem like a lot. But back then it was the separation between being a cute little girl and being an unexplainably ugly monster. 

As years went by, I only became closer with this friend of mine– the same friend that I shadowed in weight for that project. She was my best friend at the time, let’s call her Lauren* (*= Name has been changed for the purposes of this post). Lauren and I did everything together from the time we were in pre-school to the time we were in 4th grade. Lauren was the only one who knew I lied about my weight for that project and she kind of used that to her own advantage (which sounds wild, I mean how is a 7/8 year old this devious… and honestly… I wish I knew). She was an awful friend to me. Whenever we played games together, She would make me be the servant to her royalty, the horse to her rider, the Haylie to her Hilary Duff… and what was her reason for it? I was fat and a fat girl couldn’t be the star of the show, just some background noise to her main show. 

I took the abuse. I was young. I didn’t know any better. And she was my BEST friend, I mean we did EVERYTHING together! But one day, when I was around 9 years old– I told my mother everything that Lauren would say to me. I told my mother that I thought I needed to lose weight and that I felt horrible about myself. My mother, being the wonderful woman that she is, immediately called up Lauren’s mother to figure out why she was being so mean and put a stop to it. My mom got her mom on the phone and said something along the lines of, “I really don’t want Maddie to feel like she’s any less than the other girls because of her size. I don’t want Maddie to think she’s fat so it would be appreciated if you could speak to Lauren about the way she treats Maddie”. This mother’s response to this was, “Oh come on sweety… Maddie already knows she’s fat. Ain’t nothing I can do to change that”.

Unbelievable, right? How could a mother be so careless with a child that had grown up along side of her own? My mother then encouraged me to break ties with Lauren and eventually I got up the courage to tell her that I no longer wanted to be friends. But even after I broke ties, I still had this weight of an insecurity that was going to eat me alive on my shoulders. But this was only the beginning of it all.

When I was 10, I auditioned for my first theatre production. It was the one thing that was going to keep me sane, the stage was my safe place. Through theatre, I met a new group of friends. Friends that were fantastic at the time. We got along really well and we had a common interest keeping us all together. They were my core group of people starting in 5th grade. But… All good things must come to an end and unfortunately– Middle school marks the beginning of the end for a lot of great things. 

When we entered 6th grade, My friends interests shifted big time. They were all slowly losing interest in theatre and gaining interest in being skinny, being popular, and having boyfriends. Whenever we hung out, all they would talk about it how much they weighed, what their diets were, and how they wanted to maximize thier sex appeal. The size of our bras was more important than anything else. I would sit in silence and listen to all of them talk about how their boobs hurt really bad because they were growing and they couldn’t wait to be D cups. We were 11/12 years old and I really wasn’t interested in speaking of any of these things at the time. I had already had my fair share of weight issues and I wanted to avoid the topic at all costs (Plus, I didn’t want to be forced to grow up even more than I had already had to). But it seemed like that was all my friends wanted to talk about. I remember crying in the bathroom on so many occasions because someone would make a comment like, “Maddie, Maybe you should go on a diet like the rest of us!”. It triggered something inside of me that none of them could understand at the time. I had already been through the insecurity of my weight when I was in elementary school and they would drag it up each and every time we hung out. 

The boy I liked didn’t like me back. I blamed it on my weight. So did my friends. I had limited positive influences in my life. I was falling back to where I was before, but this time, I was falling deeper.

I started spending most of my spare time online watching youtube videos. I found comfort in finding people to look up to online. I really enjoyed watching xSamiSDx and lexandsydshow, two channels, and three girls close to my age that had quite large followings at the time. I admired them, I thought they were cool. This was also around the time that Lady Gaga became popular and she became such a huge part of my life, the same way she is today.

6th grade came and went. I kept my toxic friends in my life. 7th grade came. And this is when things went from bad to worse. 

In the fall of 7th grade, I started making music videos. I didn’t have a youtube account so at the time, I would post them on my facebook so that everyone from school could see. I was still really young. I didn’t really understand popularity. I thought that maybe, if I posted my music videos on facebook, all my classmates would think I was just as cool as the youtubers I admired. 

I was wrong. 

When I started posting my videos on facebook, the initial reaction was positive. It mainly came from my family members saying that they thought it was really cute and they were impressed with my ability to work technology (Because lets be real, it doesn’t take much to impress the older generations). But then, it slowly turned negative.

At first, It just started a bunch of gossip behind my back. I didn’t know that I was slowly becoming the laugh of the town. Then, it turned to people commenting directly on my videos… But they were saying nice things! People in my grade and the grades above me would write what seemed to be kind hearted comments on my videos. I was naive. I wanted to see the best in people. I didn’t realize at the time that all of their comments were sarcastic and that they were only writing them to make fun of me even more. 

But like I said, At the time, I still had no idea.

I went on feeling like people actually liked me. Like I was making new friends, meeting new people.

There was this boy named Ryan*. Ryan sat in front of me in English and was to become one of the many boys that tortured me throughout school. He was really well liked, athletic, and he was, well, blossoming faster than most other boys around so all the girls were all over him. He would talk to all the girls that sat around us, but not me. No, Ryan would purposely ignore me. Talk around me and then low key make fun of me while all the other girls giggled. It made me feel discouraged.. upset. Because it seemed like people liked me… but then Ryan would remind me that there was something unfortunately different about me and the rest of the girls in our class. I didn’t know what it was. 

Now, Ryan had a friend named Tim*. Tim was also in my english class and I started to develop a crush on him. I thought Tim was so fricken cute. I thought he was a good guy, I mean, if you have a crush on someone, you always want to see the best in them. I couldn’t see the bad in him. And let me tell you, there was so god damn much of it. 

One day, I was on facebook. I was scrolling through Tim’s timeline… Looking at his photographs, you know, stalking him and inevitably starting to like him even more. And that’s when I came across a post that all the boys in my class were having a conversation on.

The post read: “Sargent Tubs….lol!!!”

I didn’t think anything of it. Until I read the comments.

All of the boys were commenting things, encouraging whatever it was they were talking about. They all thought this post was absolutely hilarious. But why?

A girl in our class commented, “What are you talking about?”

To which Tim responded, “It’s about the fattest girl in our homeroom lol”.

I remember sitting at my computer stunned for a moment. My mind was racing and I started to think things like… “This can’t be about me. Please god, don’t let this be about me”.

But I knew it was. It had to be. I was the biggest girl in our homeroom. I was so much bigger than the other girls. I knew it was me. I tried to ignore it, brush it off. But this is only where it got worse.

The boys would make indirect posts on each others walls about me nearly every day. They would make fun of the things I wore, the things I did, the things I said, everything about me. The pack of boys that would (not so secretly) attack me started to grow. It was more than Tim and Ryan and all the boys in our homeroom. Now boys that I hadn’t even met were joining in on the fun.

Until one day, they decided to upgrade their attack tactics. Oh yes. They took it from indirect facebook posts to direct facebook messaging and spewing horrifying words to me in person. 

It all started when a boy I hadn’t ever spoken to messaged me and said, “Sarge! Do you have diabetes?”

I was confused. It was confirmed that I was the Sargent Tubs they would all talk about. But I ignored the message.

Then they took to the hallways, calling me Sarge or Sargent Tubs whenever they got the chance. They would make fun of my videos. They would make fun of my eyebrows. They would pull my jacket out of my locker and make fun of the size. They would laugh at the way the buttons on some of my shirts pulled at each other a bit. They made comments about the way my thighs spread out when I sat down.

Then one day I walked in and announced to some of my friends how excited I was that I got cast as Cruella Devil in our town’s theatre production of 101 Dalmatians. 

Tim then responded with, “You know you only got cast as that because you’re fat. And that makes you way easier to hate”.

At this point, All of my friends were well aware of the way these boys were torturing me. None of them ever stood up for me. They all cared more about being popular and being well liked than they did about being a true friend.

The boy that I had a crush on became the ring leader of torture, the king of what ruined my fucking life. They dragged up my weight insecurity that had been burried since I was 7 years old and made it my reality again. But not only that, They gave me a new insecurity as well. I was now afraid of boys, afraid of love, afraid of being myself and being real especially with someone I’m attracted to. It’s an insecurity that sticks with me to this day, an insecurity that made my high school experience unbearably difficult at times. 

This was the beginning of the end for me. I had friends that only cared about being popular and being good looking, meanwhile I was being bullied, harrassed on a daily basis for how I looked. It seemed like everyone around me only cared about what I looked like. So I decided that if that’s what everyone else cared most about, that’s what I had to care most about too. If that’s what everyone else wanted from me, then I was going to do it. If it meant people would start treating me like a human being, I was ready for anything.

So in 8th grade, I asked my mother to take me to a nutritionist. Which was fantastic, it was exactly what I should of done. But then I spiraled out of control.

I went to the nutritionist probably 3 times in 3 months. She helped me map out what I should/should not be eating and what I should be doing for excersize. I did everything she told me to do. But then I got angry because things weren’t changing fast enough. The abuse wasn’t stopping because I wasn’t getting any thinner. I wasn’t losing enough weight. So I lied to my mother and told her I didn’t want to go to the nutritionist anymore because I had it under control. 

This was when I started starving myself. This was also when I started to wear spanx every day of my life. 

If you don’t know what spanx are, it’s a brand of shapewear that helps suck everything in and make you look thinner. I had two pairs of spanx intended for use on the stomach area. I would wear them both, every single day. They would give me stomach aches, It was terribly uncomfortable. But in my brain, that’s what I had to do.

I asked my mom to pack me cheese and grapes for lunch and that’s it. I justified this request by saying that I wasn’t hungry at lunch because I ate breakfast and I would rather just have a snack at lunch and eat when I got home. This was a lie. I did not eat breakfast and more often than not, I did not eat when I got home. Some days I would eat the cheese and grapes but some days I would not because truthfully, I was scared to eat in front of the boys that tortured me and/or anyone that even remotely associated themselves with them. I was scared of what they would say about me. I always thought that people were looking at me saying, “Oh look! The fat girl’s eating again!”.

So whether or not I ate was completely subjective to how far away I was sitting from those boys. If I was in thier line of vision, I wouldn’t eat. If people were blocking them from seeing me, I would eat. That being said, cheese and grapes obviously isn’t a lot of food. I was constantly hungry but that’s what I told myself was necessary. If I felt hungry and wasn’t doing anything about it, It was a sure fire sign I was losing weight. And I was. I was finally losing weight at the speed I wanted to. But not in a healthy way. 

I continued like that all throughout 8th grade. Constantly starving myself and doing what I could to make myself look thinner. I met a boy that seemed to like me. I really liked him, he was really the first boy I ever had real, raw, honest feelings for. In my twisted mind, It seemed like things were looking up but I was only digging myself deeper. I hated myself. I truly and honestly hated every bit of myself. And no matter how much weight I lost or how many pairs of spanx I wore and no matter how many kind things this boy said to me– it didn’t change the fact that I thought I was disgusting and I could not stand being around myself. 

This boy found someone else over the summer. It was my first heartache. I blamed my weight. I went through some really rough months where all I could do was tear myself apart. Blaming my weight for this failure and for every failure. (Just as a sidenote: I don’t have bad blood with this boy. Looking back on it now, the reasons things didn’t work out were more complicated than my 8th grade/Freshman year mind could even comprehend. I don’t blame him for anything. I actually still think he’s a fantastic human being.)

I was stuck in this deadly mindset of never feeling good enough for anything or anyone. I spent night after night looking at myself in the mirror, tears running down my face, as I couldn’t help but just ask the world “Why?”.

WHY did I have to look like this? WHY couldn’t I be skinny? WHY couldn’t I look like every other fucking girl in my grade? WHY me? WHY WHY WHY?

I couldn’t understand why everyone hated me so much. I couldn’t understand what I did to deserve so much pain. 

Every once in a while (And I mean seriously every ONCE in a very long WHILE), I would look in the mirror, and think I looked pretty (Although very insecure about my stomach). But 99.9% of the time, I thought I was repulsive. But I suppose that’s just how it works… You aren’t born hating yourself. You’re taught to. I was taught to hate myself. By the friends I had, by the boys that bullied me, by the society around me. I was taught that fat was bad and because I was fat, I should hate myself. And so I did. 

Beginning of freshman year, I went to the doctors office for my yearly check up. I got on the scale and for the first time in my life, My doctor told me that I was a healthy weight and I should try to stay at the weight I was. I remember feeling my heart drop all the way to my toes. I looked back and forth between the doctor and my mother and said, “Um.. But I don’t think this is enough. I mean, How much more weight do I need to lose before I can wear a bikini?”. The doctor laughed. I don’t think she quite knew what to say to me. She then said, “Maddie, What are you talking about? You can wear a bikini now! Whenever you want!”. It was in that moment that I hit my lowest point to date. I realized that no matter how much weight I lost and no matter how I looked to everyone else– It did not change the fact that I saw nothing but a disgusting, worthless human being looking back at me in the mirror. It was never going to be enough. I was never going to be enough.

I began cutting myself off from almost everyone in my life. I lost almost all my friends from middle school (Actually, Looking back now, I only lost the toxic friends. All my true friends stayed even when I was pushing them away). I spent all of my time online, The only place I felt safe. I could dictate what I looked like. I could choose which parts of me people could see. I could paint my life like a picture and choose to show people the best parts. 

At this point in my life, The only positive things I had were Lady Gaga and my best friend, Destiny Thomas. Destiny was the only person I didn’t shut out, she was the only person that I felt truly understood me. I met Destiny through youtube. We would Skype and iChat every night. She and Gaga were my rocks. They still are to this day.

It was also at this time that I started to develop an eating disorder. I started to develop a binge eating disorder which in simple terms is basically just compulsive overeating to the point of discomfort. All I would do was eat and cry and eat and cry and eat and cry. I would eat until I was physically in pain. I couldn’t tell you why. Eating was the only thing that comforted me but at the same time it was the thing that hurt me the most. I wanted to hurt myself. Hurting myself was the equivalent of comfort. 

My freshman and sophomore years were complicated. They were dark. I didn’t really have a solid friend group. My life was very wishy washy. I continued to hate myself. I continued to look for something to bring light to the world around me. I didn’t really think that I would find something. I kind of thought that I would be forced to give up. 

But I found something, or someone(s) for that matter.

When I created my youtube account, xladygagafanxx (2010) and partylikemaddie (2011)… I started developing a new group of friends. Over the years of my self loathing and pain, I gained a following amongst my social media sites. It was these people that were to wake me up, it was these people that were to motivate me to get better. 

Like I said earlier, I would paint my life like a picture online. I made myself out to be this happy go lucky, bubbly, confident girl that I definitely was not. People would always message me things like, “How did you get to become so confident and happy?” and I would play it off like I actually was. Beacuse I wanted to be the confident youtube girl that inspired people and helped people. I wanted to be that girl so bad. 

So I followed a quote that Lady Gaga once said, “I want people to walk around delusional about how great they can be - and then to fight so hard for it every day that the lie becomes the truth.”

I thought that maybe if I pretended that I was happy, that maybe I would actually become happy.

Midway through sophomore year, I posted a video called “MY STORY: Confidence and Happiness”. It was a video in which I told a vague overview of what middle school had been like for me. My online life wasn’t a reflection of what was truly going on. I was only sharing the things I wanted to share. I concluded the video with some vague advice and some made up story about how I was actually happy at that point in my life. 

That video was made at the end of 2012. That video marked a very significant change in my life.

After I posted it, I got an overwhelming amount of support. I got hundreds of messages from people telling me how I had helped motivate them to be happier and more confident and how watching my videos over the years had just inspired them to become a better version of themselves.

I couldn’t believe the amount of positivity and love that was being sent my way. For one of the first times in my life, I felt like people actually liked me. I felt like I actually had a group, a solid group of people that I could belong to. I felt like I fit in. Something just felt right. I had a comfort zone. 

These people, who didn’t even know me in real life, loved me. They cared about me. And even though, they only knew 40% of who I was, the fact that they loved that 40% as much as they did, made me so happy. 

I remember thinking to myself… If I can help people become happy, when I’m not even happy with myself… Just imagine the impact I could make, if I actually was happy with myself.

It was within this new found comfort zone that I was able to gain the courage and bravery it took to start my recovery. I remember being in the car with my mom driving when I just burst out in tears and told her that I had an eating disorder. I told her I wanted to get better. This was probably around February of my Sophomore year. 

Sophomore year continued and junior year began. It was all just as difficult as it has always been. I still hated myself. I still felt very insecure every single day. I still thought that the fat on body made me less of a human being. I was still afraid of being myself around boys. I was still afraid of almost everything I had always been afraid of. Nothing had changed, except my mindset. 

The only thing that was different was that this time, I wanted to get better. I wanted to recover. I wanted to like myself. I wanted to feel comfortable existing wherever I was and whoever I was with.

Sophomore year was tough. Junior year was tougher. I really didn’t think I was making any progress. In March of junior year, I wrote a poem called Disgusting. I shared it on tumblr and immediately got responses from people telling me how much they could relate to it. It broke my heart. No one deserves to feel the way that I did about myself. I was able to look at other people and recognize that they deserved to feel wonderful but I was rarely able to look at myself and think that. 

About a month after I wrote Disgusting, I went to work and shared the poem with my boss during my break. She was moved. She was sad. She had watched me grow up, My boss is one of my best friends. I immediately dove into this long, interesting conversation with her about body image and the way I felt about myself. Mid way into us conversing about my mind and my life, a man named Gary walked through the doors. He listened in to the rest of the conversation and left me with a few brief words before I went out to teach my class. He gave me a short speech about gaining confidence but it was 5 words that he said, that really shook me to my core. 

“YOU are not your body”

Simple, right? I had heard the phrase before, but it had never resonated with me until that very moment. 

I was making impacts on people across the country through my youtube videos. I had landed a job as a choreographer my freshman year. I got the opportunity to impact kids and help them grow every day of my life. I was getting recognized for my ability to write poetry by an online magazine. 

I was adding so much positivity to the world… and my success as a human being was not connected to what I looked like… at all.

I was passionate. My body didn’t change that. I was dedicated. My body didn’t change that. I was opinionated. My body didn’t change that. I was smart. My body didn’t change that. I was driven, I was talented, I was loving, I was caring, I was a thousand different things and none of them connected to my body.

Because I, Maddie Dragsbaek, am so much more than just what I look like. In fact, my apperance has no connection to WHO I am or what I am capable to bringing into this world.

For the first time in my life, I recognized my potential. I felt limitless.

I pondered that conversation for the next two months. I also got really into watching youtube videos of plus sized women sharing their stories and strutting their stuff in bikinis. I was really inspired by people that didn’t let their weight hold them back from doing things. I ended up writing a poem called Darling, which I then combined with my older poem Disgusting in a video online called “You are not your body”. It blew up. I knew I had an audience of young boys and girls that were watching me and becoming inspired and empowered. They were looking to me to be the voice. So I decided to charge ahead.

In June of 2014, I posted a photograph on my instagram of me in my one piece bathing suit. THIS WAS A HUGE STEP FOR ME.

At the time, I still wasn’t 100% on what I looked like. But I had gotten closer. I was terrified to post that picture. I posted it because I wanted to reach out to the little girls that were like me. I posted it to help someone else, even though the sheer thought of someone seeing ME in a bathing suit made me cringe.

I posted it. I was scared but I posted it. And the amount of positive responses I recieved was simply overwhelming.

From there forward, I just kept taking baby steps.

I spent more time lifting myself up instead of tearing myself down. I spent some time talking to girls going through similar things that I did. I posted a few photographs of myself in my bathing suit over that summer. Baby steps, every single day.

And then one day, I was laying down in bed with just my bra and underwear on and I started to study my stomach. The one thing that previously would have made me feel like an absolute monster. But this time it didn’t. And it was the absolute strangest feeling in the entire world.

For the first time in my life, I thought to myself, “This chub is kinda cute when you think of it. I don’t really understand what’s so evil about this chub. Why do people hate it so much”.

Simple thoughts really. But then I started to think about it more, and honestly… it just didn’t make any sense to me. WHY is being fat such a big deal? WHY is fat an insult?

Over the course of my senior year, I pondered those same thoughts and continued to speak with girls that have went through similar things as myself. My viewers and supporters continued to shower me with love, so much of it that I eventually started to feel that love too. I spent a lot of time with myself, learning and forming opinions. Getting to know who I really was and who I wanted to be and most importantly, figuring out how I wanted to be treated and how I wanted to treat myself.

Fat is not an insult. Skinny is not a compliment. They’re descriptive words like blonde or brunette and they shouldn’t evoke emotion. I mean, if someone ran up to you and said, “HAHA YOU’RE BRUNETTE”.. I’d be like the fuck? This some incredible discovery or some shit?

I was fat and I was beautiful. And that was that. Nothing that anyone said was going to change that.

I became my biggest supporter. I became the voice that I needed to hear when I was growing up. And in february of 2015, I bought my first bikini. The final step in becoming the person I always wanted to be. Which seems silly, right? I mean how can a bikini change you THAT much? But it did.

Because for the first time in my life, I felt beautifully big. I felt confident and comfortable in a bikni. I was recognizing that the size of my body could not limit me from wearing what I wanted to wear and doing what I wanted to do. I was understanding things that previously were foreign concepts. My life was changing right before my eyes.

I went on a cruise and went out in public wearing a bikini for the very first time and let me tell you, it was undeniably the best feeling in the entire world. I loved myself and I loved my body and no one was going to tell me different. I had grown up in an unfair world. One that denied me the right to be who I was and love that person unconditionally… But that’s not the world I wanted to live in anymore. 

I fought back. I used my voice. And I continue using it and posting about body positivity online in order to inspire girls going through the same things I did. I am the person my middle school self needed, I am the person my middle school self wanted to be. 

So finally, at age 18 and a high school graduate, I can officially and honestly say that I am 100% happy with how I look like. I don’t have any body insecurities and I hope that it stays this way. I can also honestly say that I am the happiest that I have ever been. My mindset has been completely changed and I have become a much more positive person.

I don’t feel the need to paint my life like a picture anymore because the life I live is the life I want to be living. And let me tell you, It feels so good to say that.

So if you’re having trouble with the way you look, no matter what the specifics of it may be- Give yourself time and take baby steps. Spend time with yourself, Surround yourself with good people and with people who inspire you to become better. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Be the person you needed when you were at your lowest point. 

You are beautiful and you are lovely and you are capable of changing the god damn world. Don’t you ever let a number convince you otherwise. If you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here and always will be. I’m your number one fan, always will be. And as I was taught by my second mom and the woman who has made me into who I am today (Lady Gaga, my love), Sometimes you only need one person to believe in you.

Much Love,

Maddie Dragsbaek