Skills: Defining Beauty
from Contributor: Liana Roseman
I have learned that beauty comes from within. Imperfection is individuality. Everyone is who they are for a reason, and no one is ‘more’ special than anyone else. We all contribute to the world in different ways. In our society, we compare ourselves to others constantly. How could you compare a police officer to a teacher? The answer is simple; you can’t.
I grew up analyzing everything about myself, from my physical appearance to the way I expressed myself. I always set high expectations for myself. I had to be the most athletic or the most popular. But, I realized something. I realized that there is no such thing as the “most” of anything. Everyone has a purpose, but its up to the person to find it. When you learn to see beauty in everything, you will also see beauty in yourself. It’s not who you are that holds you back; it’s who you think you’re not.
The thing I LOVE most about my body is the relationship we now have. For five years, I battled with anorexia nervosa and strived for my body to look a certain way. I was constantly preoccupied by thoughts of my physical appearance, so much that these concerns interfered with my daily activities and my social life. I had a “blueprint” in mind of what the “perfect” body should look like. Truth is, if that “blueprint” was actually a person or a building, it would eventually wear down and collapse. A wise teacher once said to me, “Your body is like a car. If you don’t give it fuel (food), then it will eventually shut down.” My body went through some major wars while I was restricting my caloric intake.
This might sound a bit cliché, but I have learned that when someone doesn’t have respect for themselves, they most likely wont have respect for anybody else. I learned that my body is capable of some amazing things. I have gained respect for what I was naturally given and learned to embrace change that I could not control. We are only given one body, one mind, one heart, and one soul. It is our job to take care of it, love it and embrace it! If we neglect our body, we will never be true to our inner self. Through recovery, I have realized who I am. I no longer label myself as “Liana the anorexic”. I once felt like being sick was the only thing I had to offer the world. I have found who I am and who I want to be and can happily say that I am completely confident with it. The thing I LIKE most about my personality is my kindness and compassion towards others. To me there is no better feeling then ‘Paying It Forward’. I believe that giving back is the most beautiful thing in the world.
“I’ve never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful.”
About the Contributor:
Liana Rosenman, 20, is a co-founder of Project HEAL: Help to Eat, Accept, & Live, a not-for-profit organization that (a) raises money for others with eating disorders who are not able to afford treatment and (b) tries to diminish the societal obsession with body image that helps contribute to eating disorders. Project HEAL has raised over $150,000 to date through fundraisers, grants, private donations, and merchandise sales, allowing for five applicants to enter treatment to overcome a life-threatening eating disorder.
Liana and her co-founder, Kristina Saffran, are fully recovered from anorexia and share their personal stories regularly at high schools, hospital programs and panel talks; mentor those battling eating disorders or low self-esteem; educate peers on eating disorders; and consult with parents, siblings, friends, and treatment providers dealing with these disorders.
Liana is currently a special education major, admits to being obsessed with headbands, loves anything pumpkin/chocolate/peanut butter, and believes everyone is beautiful in their own way.
Image: Life Imperfectly Perfect