Angelina Harris:

I have been above average weight and height for as long as I can remember. I have grown up knowing that all of my best friends probably weigh half as much as I do. Despite these facts,

I have always been incredibly confident in myself.

My self confidence has shielded me from a lot of things other people have gone through. I didn’t really have many insecurities growing up, mostly because I knew from a very young age that there were more important things for me to worry about. I was more focused on school work, my friends, and of course, all the drama in my favorite Disney Channel TV shows.

But I watched my friends and family complain about how they looked, how they felt about themselves, and even point out things they thought were wrong with me. Sometimes I heard them a little too loudly, but their words never stuck with me too long. In a matter of days I would be back to twirling around in my self confidence.

My parents put me in acting and modeling classes when I was eight years old, and I loved it. The cameras, the monologues, the attention, I basked in it. I was even lucky enough to be chosen for a showcase called iPop where I walked the catwalk in New York as an eight year old. I went to tons of auditions with agents, and I learned later that they all told my parents the same thing: she needs to lose weight.

An eight year old girl needs to lose weight. Can you believe that?

Well, it never stopped me. I continued to excell in Theatre and Choir all the way through high school, and I’m now a Theatre Major at UCSD. As I got older, with all the voices against me, my self confidence became more than just a shield. My self confidence became my creed.

I͟ a͟m͟ s͟t͟r͟o͟n͟g͟, I͟ a͟m͟ c͟o͟n͟f͟i͟d͟e͟n͟t͟, I͟ a͟m͟ b͟e͟a͟u͟t͟i͟f͟u͟l͟, I͟ a͟m͟ t͟a͟l͟e͟n͟t͟e͟d͟, I͟ a͟m͟ a͟m͟b͟i͟t͟i͟o͟u͟s͟, a͟n͟d͟ I͟ a͟m͟ d͟e͟t͟e͟r͟m͟i͟n͟ed.

Media is finally realizing that there is worth in every kind of person, no matter their race, size, sex, scars, or any other “flaws.” I am so incredibly lucky to be part of a generation that is tearing down beauty standards and accepting beauty universally.

This is why I want to be a model. I want to be a part of this self love revolution. Everyone deserves to feel as good about themselves as I do, and no one should ever feel like they aren’t beautiful. Now more than ever, it is important to stand up and show the world what makes us beautiful. I want my kids to grow up without self doubt and with the strongest belief that they are gorgeous human beings. Because that’s what everyone deserves.

The camera is my weapon and my makeup is my war paint, I am ready to shoot.