My Struggle With The 10 Year Challenge

Popping up all over social media recently the “10 Year Challenge” challenges users to post photos from 2009 and 2019 to show the difference that just 10 years can make. While for some this is a great way to show their “glow-up” and how hard puberty hit them. Even celebrities have participated and memes have gone viral about the challenge. I thought about doing my own post about 2009 vs. 2019 until I looked back.

Looking back through my own photos on my cloud and social media, I remembered the struggles that I had with my own self-image 10 years ago. The thoughts rushed back of “fat”, “ugly”, “not good enough”. While I have come a long way and have become confident and body positive, I couldn’t stand the idea of posting the photos. I didn’t want to try and show a “glow-up” or have people say that puberty hit me hard or “wow she has come so far”.

I wanted this to be not just physical, but mental as well and that can’t be shown in photos. Yes, I’m smiling and look happy in 2009, and yes, I’m smiling and look happy in 2019 but that isn’t always true. We all go through rough patches, hard times and sadness. We all grow mentally, physically and emotionally. Being “chubby” growing up and going through difficulties in middle and high school has helped me get to who I am today. I’m that same chubby girl just older and more mature.

To me, going through my photos and remembering these different thoughts and feelings I had reminded me of who I am today and how much work it took. In 2019 I am strong, confident and beautiful. Back in 2009 when I was just 9 or 10 years old I was also strong, confident and beautiful, I just didn’t know it yet.

Posting a picture from 2009 and 2019 for others to see, judge and make a decision on if I had that magical “glow-up” or if puberty had hit just didn’t seem worth it to me. Only I can decide my own worth.