Mental Health Benefits Of Accepting That I Will Never Be Size 0

I was only 13 years old when the movie The Devil Wears Prada came out. When my mother saw promotional posters for it a week before its premiere, she was already excited because she loved Meryl Streep. Upon finding out that it was rated PG-13, Mom suggested that we should watch the movie as a family as soon as it was out.

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Source: flickr.com

At the time, I was one of those teenage kids who did not want to do anything with their parents. I enjoyed being with my friends; I would rather hang out with them than go anywhere with Mom and Dad. However, like most teenagers, I got scared when my parents said they would confiscate my Nintendo if I didn’t join them for movie nights, so I obeyed them.

Before the show began, I asked Dad to buy a big bucket of popcorn, a large soda, some chips, and a corndog for me. Although I agreed to watch the movie, I intended to eat through the entire thing, considering I didn’t know the actors back then. But ten minutes into the film, I found myself transfixed to the enormous screen, my food forgotten.

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Source: pexels.com

The reason was that Meryl Streep’s character, Miranda Priestley, was too interesting to ignore. She was classy, bossy, and straightforward; though she did not seem to respect her subordinates, it showed that she wanted to know who was loyal to her. Every word that came out of her mouth was iconic; in truth, even if Miranda did not have a dialogue, her facial expressions and actions demanded attention. I loved the movie so much that I played it on DVD at least once a month that year – no exaggeration whatsoever.

The more I watched The Devil Wears Prada, the more I related to Anne Hathaway’s character, Andrea Sachs. She was a young journalist who wanted to write for a famous publication in New York – I wanted that, too. Since it was not easy to do that without connections, she worked for Miranda Priestly, even if she knew nothing about fashion. Once her commitment got questioned, Andrea began dressing well, emphasized by the video montage of her going to work in various designer outfits.

But several years after I watched the movie, one thing remained in my mind: you need to be size 0 in the fashion industry. That’s what Emily Blunt’s character strived for throughout the film because she wanted to look amazing once Miranda brought her to Paris Fashion Week. It did not happen because she got into an accident while she was running an errand for Miranda. Andrea naturally accompanied Miranda, showing off a slimmer figure, and everyone loved her for it.

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Source: pexels.com

How It Changed My Mentality

Since I had been a size 6 for as long as I could remember, I thought of losing weight to become size 0, too. I worked out at the gym, played sports, went hiking, and even tried yoga. I also did intermittent fasting without my parents’ knowledge and reduced my mealtimes from thrice to once a day. 

After a month, I saw a positive change in my body. I lost 10 pounds, which I never imagined I could do. It was awful to avoid my mother’s delicious dishes, but I got used to saying no to them. But then, I became sad when I hit a plateau a couple of months later, which meant that I got stuck at size 4. While it was a significant achievement, it was still far from my dream of becoming a size 0.

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Source: pexels.com

How I Changed My Mentality

I would have fallen into depression because of my weight if I didn’t get wind of plus-sized models like Kate Wasley, Barbie Ferreira, Tara Lynn, and Ashley Graham. I was nowhere near their body type, but there I was, moping over the fact that I could not be size 0. 

When I began to accept that it was impossible to achieve my dream size, I reverted to my old, healthy ways. I enjoyed Mom’s cooking again and stopped obsessing over calories. I refused to do intermittent fasting again unless it was for recalibrating my digestion. I also reduced my physical activities to hiking and going to the gym thrice a week to maintain my figure.

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Source: pexels.com

Final Thoughts

I was only 16 years old at the time, but I already learned that my happiness did not depend on being size 0. I guess it was my luck that I realized that early; other girls needed to reach their 20s or 30s to figure that one out, and only after their slimming pills, teas, and programs did not work.

Will I still watch The Devil Wears Prada even if I have almost lost myself because I followed the characters’ lead? Of course! I just watched it again last night, and I will continue to do so for as long as I shall live. Even if I don’t watch it for their “words of wisdom” anymore, I still love the actors’ impressive acting, after all.