I decided to test out my theory that the world can be changed through conversation. I sent out one hundred letters to one hundred different people who have positively impacted this world. In each letter, I simply asked for them to chat with me over coffee about the change they have made. Claire Mysko, the CEO of NEDA was an obvious choice because of her inspiring work with body positivity!
A smile did not leave my face the entire facetime call from the big apple with Claire Mysko, the CEO of the National Eating Disorder Association. NEDA is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. (Isn’t that awesome!)
You’re Amazing! That is the title of Claire’s first book which caters to teenage girls and breaks down the pressures to be perfect. As a sixteen year old girl, Claire needed to hear that she was amazing. She was swarmed with feelings of thinking she was not good enough. Claire thought that the model in the magazine was who she needed to be. She was struggling with an eating disorder and battling her own mind. Fast forward a couple years, Claire was traveling on the road to recovery. She was getting professional help, but she was also finding her voice — a voice of activism. A voice that yelled to her that so many people from every background are also struggling and battling. A voice that encouraged her to use her journey to support people who are just beginning their fight.
So, Claire wrote the book “You’re Amazing” after tapping into her own experience. We live in a world that does not always reinforce those words, so Claire did. However, it is important to realize that Claire would not be where she is today without what she went through. Claire allowed herself to be vulnerable and she put herself out there. She allowed the pain she felt because of her insecurities to become a path to a better future for herself and others.
So, what can we learn from Claire? It is simple. We can learn that YOU really are amazing. Social media tricks us into believing that if we reach the perfect weight, get the perfect score or look a certain way that we will feel better about ourselves. If we focus on those lies, we are going to waste a lot of time. We can spend that time understanding how amazing we are. Throughout our lives, we are going to face moments where we do not feel good enough. Instead of hiding those moments, we can be like Claire. We can be vulnerable to put ourselves out there.
Gianna Richason is a sixteen year old girl from Greensburg, Pennsylvania. She spends her free time listening to Thomas Rhett, drinking iced coffee, and helping the Pittsburgh nonprofit Beverly’s Birthdays spread birthday cheer!
This post originally appeared on https://www.groundsofchange.com/ and was republished with permission.