"I struggled with body image issues from the time I was eight,” says Allie Marie Smith, the developer of “Body Beautiful” – the new iPhone app designed to promote positive body image among young women.
Smith, who is also an award-winning author and the Founder of a non-profit organization for young women called Wonderfully Made recalls thumbing the pages of fashion magazines with her mom. “I was totally enamored by the beauty of the models and wanted to look just like them. But that just wasn't me - I’ve always been a strong, athletic girl.”
Having shared the dream of most little girls of one day being a model, Smith even went to a handful of casting calls. "They'd always tell me I had the right look and height – but even at my thinnest was told I should to lose fifteen or twenty pounds.” Plagued by low self-esteem all throughout high school, Smith also struggled with disordered eating habits. “I constantly believed I was fat even though I wasn't. For a while I took diet pills and would often binge and even throw up. Like many girls, I believed the lie that I had to be perfect to be loved and being perfect meant being thin like the girls in the magazines.”
Smith says although she still has her struggles, she has made peace with her body and is passionate about helping other girls and women do the same. “Forget skinny,” says Smith. “I’d rather be healthy. And strong. I have mountains to climb, waves to surf, oceans to swim and beautiful adventures to tackle.”
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