Throughout the years, Social Media has been on the forefront of teenage and young adult influence. Although there are ups and downs with the growth of the internet, I believe that it has started to shed some light on important topics. Brittani Lancaster, a 22 year old from Oregon, began her Tik Tok presence over the last year by creating video content that promotes body positivity. Having previously suffered from two eating disorders, Brittani uses her experience to advocate the importance of mental health, physical health, and positive body image.
I came across her Tik Tok one day as I was scrolling through my For You Page and immediately was drawn to her comforting, bubbly personality. It became my daily routine to watch her videos and always was a great way to end the day. Everyday she posts a “What I eat in a day recovering from two eating disorders” which always includes her breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks throughout the day. She shows how you can still have a healthy lifestyle by keeping yourself nourished and encourages a balanced diet. She has given me so many yummy recipes and meal ideas to follow. She is very honest, open, and transparent with her audience by not just highlighting the positivity; she also is real and raw, showing the dark and the light side of life. This goes to show that we are all people too and at the end of the day, we all struggle.
As a young female, she started to become insecure in her body due to comparison with her other classmates. She felt herself becoming “overweight” and slowly developed a negative relationship with herself and with food. Her eating disorder began to overtake her life by causing mental health issues, hair loss, hormone imbalances, deficiency, and fatigue. Once her parents began to realize her eating disorder, they intervened and found professional help. Unfortunately, her reaction then backfired into another eating disorder, binge eating. In a way to compensate for her lack of nutrients, she turned to overindulging in food which can be just as dangerous to the body. Once she came to the realization that what she was doing was highly detrimental, she decided to take a stand and really work on finding a solution. She gives her college experience tremendous amounts of credit for helping her work through her eating disorder due to the set meal plan that helped manage her intake. Since then she has fought to find herself again, to gain her strength, to discover her confidence and return to a healthy life.
She is now a huge advocate for intuitive eating which means listening to your own body’s hunger cues and following along with your body on whether you feel hungry or full. From what I have noticed from her account, she always eats full meals each day including snacks and dessert. It shows that “good” and “bad” foods are not part of her vocabulary. Her mission is to make humans aware of the negativity that can possess around the topic of food. You can love food and your body simultaneously. You show love to your body by eating food for nourishment. It is all about a healthy relationship.
Starting around middle school, I began to notice how my body began to look a little different than the other girls. Although I was thin as a toothpick, I started to develop curves, hips, and a booty. I thought it was the end of the world. Especially being part of the dance community, I started to become extremely insecure in my own skin. I found myself comparing my body to others questioning why I did not look like them, despite us having the same amount of physical exercise and similar eating habits. What I have learned since then is that everybody is different. Our bodies are perfectly made to be a vessel for our lives and we should treat it as something sacred, not something to scoff at. Now, as a college woman, I find myself being inspired by people like Brittani Lancaster. Once I had started to gain more weight towards the end of high school, I stopped taking any sort of bathing suit pictures. Because of the love and support I have felt from Brittani just through a screen, I gained the confidence to finally post one from this summer of me out on the dock, sun shining, my body not perfectly positioned, and enjoying a nice slice of watermelon. She reposted me on her instagram story and I about CRIED.
People like Brittani Lancaster are the type of celebrities that we all need to look towards. She spreads kindness, love, acceptance, and positivity amongst anyone and everyone. She is not famous for being flawless, she is famous for being genuine and raw. I thank her for unapologetically being herself and for making such a mark on me as well as 929.6k friends on Tik Tok.