Two years in the past, I checked out myself within the mirror and, tbh, the nice vibes weren’t precisely flowing. I used to be feeling tremendous down about my single standing, my physique and my future plans (not like all of my buddies, I made a decision to take a while off earlier than faculty to determine my path). I felt sort of behind in life, like I wasn’t certain of my goal. Day-after-day these actually huge questions can be looming in my head: Who am I and what am I doing?
When the pandemic hit and my emotions of loneliness grew, I knew there was just one answer for a performer like me: to share my story. And, fortunately, TikTok was simply beginning to blow up.
I began posting, simply being myself, reflecting on all the things from boy to physique woes. And a loopy factor occurred. Folks actually began regarding what I used to be going by way of.
I began to realize followers: First only a few thousand, then hundreds of thousands. I received feedback and messages about how I had impressed different ladies to really feel extra physique constructive and to deal with their future as an alternative of failed friendships or outdated relationships. And truthfully? It felt superb.
For these first few months, it was like TikTok had solved all my issues. However then, all of a sudden, it did not anymore. Properly, not utterly, anyway.
No matter how many individuals commented on my movies, telling me that I used to be stunning or that my physique kind was their supreme, it did not quiet the voices in my head that made me doubt my self-worth. Irrespective of what number of followers I gained, it did not put a full cease to my emotions of loneliness. And provoking others to be constructive is not the identical as inspiring your self. I wanted to make a change.
So a yr in the past, at the same time as I continued to publish all my self-love content material on TikTok, I began doing the work to determine precisely what the time period self-love meant for me: I started journaling, setting intentions and opening as much as the folks round me about my struggles. Now, each morning, I look within the mirror and hype myself up out loud—even when it feels cringey or like I haven’t got something to say. I additionally spend time manifesting my future (present dream: modeling for American Eagle and starring in my very own TV present), hanging out with my household (my OG buddies) and persevering with to publish genuine content material whereas balancing it with real-life experiences that get me out of my consolation zone (a nature stroll by no means hurts).
On TikTok, I am nonetheless the endlessly assured woman. However IRL, I proceed to be on a vanity journey. I am very pleased with the platform I’ve constructed, however as I attempt to uncover (and adore!) my most genuine self, I now know that the *actual* work occurs off-screen—generally when there isn’t any cellphone in sight. And I am OK with that.
Hey, woman! Simply wished to let you recognize that this story initially ran in our April/Could 2022 problem. Need extra? Learn the print magazine totally free *right now* whenever you click on HERE.
Slider picture: @spencer.barbosa