Paris Harvey overcame her “biggest fear” and showed her bullies how beautiful she is
Paris Harvey, a 13-year-old from Kent, U.K., has one of the most inspiring Twitter posts you’re going to see today.
Harvey suffers from numerous health problems, including a metabolic condition that makes her gain weight quickly and struggle to shed the pounds back off. On top of that, she was born with hip displaysia, so one leg is shorter than the other and pins in the joint give her a permanent limp. Harvey told The Daily Mail that she’s long been tormented by her classmates, who called her fat and said she walks “like a penguin.” So Harvey decided to clap back.
She went to a beach, she said, and she stripped down to her swimsuit. It was her “biggest fear,” but she did it — and even went so far as to post photos on Twitter.
“I got bullied in the past and after a while you start to believe what people say. I became really insecure about how I looked,” Harvey said. “I can be eating the same food as the next person but I gain weight. It’s not like I’m sitting at home all day eating crisps. It’s also hard for me to get around because of my hips and it is harder for me to make changes than it is for other people. But I felt like I shouldn’t have to explain myself.”
She added that she was at the beach with a friend who was also self-conscious, so they challenged each other.
“He was saying he felt fat and I just told him, ‘If you take your top off, I will take off my shorts,’ so we did,” Harvey said. “I was worried someone would come up to me and stop me or stare at me but there was no response, people were just acting as they did before. I stayed like it for a few hours and I started to feel comfortable in my own skin. I was proud afterwards. It was quite an achievement.”
Unsurprisingly, Harvey’s bold move got some hate online. But we’re not giving that shit any attention. Her photos had garnered nearly 350,000 likes and more than 45,000 retweets by Monday morning. And plenty of those who responded were only sending their love and support for Harvey’s bravery.
You're beautiful!! You've inspired me so much that I'm going to start going out in my shorts which I've never done before 💕💕— freya-jean (@freya_jean1997) May 27, 2017
Heck yeah you do it! I bought my first pair of shorts in years and trust me when I say you won't care because it means you ain't roasting !— Hayley (@RSHayley) May 28, 2017
Score one for body positivity today.