Meghan Blalock is Who What Wear's managing editor.
As someone who has worked in fashion for many years now, I can't help but be at least a little preoccupied with bodies. After all, when you work in this business, you're exposed to a lot of individuals—models, bloggers, editors, designers, and celebrities—who, for the most part, fall on the thin side of the spectrum.
As it happened, I've been particularly preoccupied with my own body for many years longer than I've been in fashion. Given society's preoccupation with being thin, I hardly think my experience is a unique one: I grew up anxious about my body from a very young age. I was teased for being fat starting around 7 or 8 years old. Of course, I was far from actually being fat, but I think the cruelty of my peers ended up having a long-term impact that I am just now overcoming.
I've been pretty much every size you can imagine. The summer before high school, I made it my mission to show up to my freshman year looking fitter and better than ever, so I went on a restriction diet and exercised like crazy all summer. I think I lost about 25 pounds—going from weighing about 140 to 115. It felt amazing to walk into school and have all my classmates from middle school look at me and say, "Wow! You look great!" The high I got from being skinnier than I had ever been motivated me to keep going, until it became an actual addiction.
Eventually, I ended up somewhere around 110 pounds, and I stopped menstruating. Trust me when I say I was frighteningly thin. I easily slipped into a size 2, my hip bones protruded from behind my jeans, I was a 34B bra, the smallest I have ever been since I first sprouted breasts. My "rock bottom," as they say, came when, at 15 years old, I found myself in my parent's bathroom, sobbing because I had overshot my calorie limit for the day, and was pondering vomiting it all up. I ended up trying, but I failed. That's when I knew the skinny status I had worked so hard to achieve was no longer worth the strife. Although that was a major turning point, it was only the beginning of a journey toward total self-love and acceptance, which I am still navigating to this day.