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Free to Be Me

I found happiness and confidence through the likes I got on Facebook. Growing up, I never liked my appearance. I was made fun of for being skinny. I heard a comment about my weight almost every day and still do. Every time I would meet somebody the first thing they would say is “you’re so skinny.” I took to Facebook in order to feel better about myself; posting pictures with very little clothing on that showcased my body. This is when I started receiving compliments about how nice my body was, which is something I never experienced before. After seeing how much attention these pictures got, it started to become like a drug. I was posting provocative pictures every week just to hear the compliments. I think the thing that I loved the most was the fact that I was not only getting compliments from men, but females too; calling me pretty; and it made me feel good; a feeling I hadn’t felt before. Facebook likes are literally like a drug; the more you get, the more you can’t stop and you become addicted to it. Like most teenagers, I had my parents blocked off of my page so they wouldn’t be able to see the inappropriate things I was posting online. The last thing I wanted was for them to take away the only thing that made me happy. As my follower count increased, my page became more and more public and I was not thinking of who was seeing my page. Family members and church friends began telling my parents about what I was posting, even sending them screenshots to go along with it. My own friend’s mom had sent my mom something; something I never expected!! My own mom thought of me as a slut and told me I was an embarrassment to her and my dad. Those words cut deep.

It was multiple times that my parents were informed of my social media and my mom began to get fed up. Every time she brought it up I told her I would clean it up and never did - so I was given an ultimatum: I either live in the house and give up social media or I leave the house and find my own place and can post whatever I want - which made no sense because she said I had to leave the phone since I didn’t pay for it. Not sure how I would have continued to have Facebook… but I chose to delete it and stay at home because no social media is worth losing a roof over my head. Besides, I also received the wrong attention from men who looked at me only in a sexual way and that was the only way they saw me. I have so much more to offer than just my body and who needs negative attention when you’re trying to be a positive person?

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