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More than a label: Junior promotes self acceptance

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Among high school students, 44 percent of girls and 15 percent of guys are attempting to lose weight. According to DoSomething.org, over 70 percent of girls age 15 to 17 avoid normal daily activities, such as attending school, when they feel bad about their looks.
Worrying about how you look can get very dangerous, and lead to mental disorders such as anorexia or just having low self esteem and low self respect.
Junior Blake Suarez knows that things are looking down for teens when it comes to self image.
“For anyone who is feeling down about their weight, I feel like you should know it doesn’t matter if you weigh 5 lbs. or 500 lbs. If you want to lose weight then do it, like that’s all on you. You are your own person and just be who you want to be,” Suarez said.
In fact, Suarez felt so passionately about this that he decided to do something about it.
“In the “Scarlet Letter”, Hester Prynne was an adulterer, so they made her wear a scarlet A on all of her clothes, and in the end they realized that she was a better person and she was more than just what they labeled her to be. I thought that was an amazing thing to do, so I was labeled something, so I am going to wear it and show that I don’t care, and that I am more than just what I am labeled as,” Suarez said.
Suarez asked his mom to sew a letter F on his shirt so he could wear it to school. “The F stands for a name that someone had called me that was vulgar, but it was pretty much joking about my weight,” Suarez said.
Suarez has not let people and their opinions stop him from doing what makes him shine.
“Do not listen to what anybody says because you have your life how it is and nobody makes up your life for you. I feel like if you want to stay that way and be big and beautiful, then do it,” Suarez said.
Suarez participates in school theater and choir. He is currently in the process of writing a book.
“My plans for the future are to hopefully attend a theatre college and have more training with what I can do. I hope to go on and make a name for myself in television, and hopefully just be myself and have fun,” Suarez said.
Life has it’s ups and downs. But know that as a teenager your body has it’s ups and downs too physically.
“Self esteem plays into how you view yourself. If you don’t love yourself, it’s really hard to be successful at helping other people,” counselor Jason Porter said.
Suarez is living proof of this.
“You are your own person and you are beautiful no matter what,” Suarez said.

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