Writer: Amanda Williams | For the last couple of years, I’ve heard my mother talk about her friend Mindy. Mindy and my mother have a lot in common. They are both empty nesters. They both enjoy reading (especially Outlander books) and they both have cute giggles. I haven’t met Mindy in person but I can tell by the way my mother talks about her, that she is a good friend to her. One-day last week, I was scrolling through my Facebook page and I noticed that my mother had commented on the picture of one of my best friends from high school and her mother. “You both look beautiful” she said. WHAT? I thought to myself, “How does my mom know my friend, Alice?” And then it dawned on me, that her friend Mindy was the mother of my friend Alice. So I called my mom that morning to tell her, she had more in common with Mindy than she thought.
Alice and I were really good friends in High School, so much so that I would consider her one of the most influential people in my life. (How my mom never knew that, I’ll chalk up to adolescents and wrangling 3 kids) The Alice I knew was beautiful, funny, popular and curvy. I remember meeting her in 6th period choir class; I had seen her in the hall and wanted very badly to be her friend. She projected this subtle air of fearlessness and self-reliance. To my adolescent insecurities, her confidence was contagious. She seemed to defy all high school stereotypes. Beautiful but curvy. Funny but curvy. Popular but curvy. These were quite formative years for me, and until I met Alice I was convinced the worst thing you could be was – CURVY. But this, this was a girl that seemed to prove me wrong. While I sat at home journaling about my high school crushes, she was out partying with them. While I was convinced I had to starve myself to be accepted, Alice’s acceptance seemed to come without clause. With each of our interactions, my personal insight grew.
Alice and I had a lot in common, only a year apart, she showed me how to live an unapologetic life in my imperfect body. And she did it so naturally, without preach. In fact, I bet if she were to read this today, she would be shocked by how important she was to my life. But how could I forget a person like her? How could I forget the lessons she taught me? She gifted me, my most prized possession: self-confidence. And it dawned upon me that, not everyone is blessed with an interaction like this, at such a young age. This friendship really helped mold me into the person I am today. I hope that every little girl finds their “Alice” (or becomes her), a girl who can show them that you don’t have to be perfect to be loved. That life is too short to get hung-up on the uncontrollable. That fun and happiness have no size. We’ve lost touch through the years but that will not decrease the clout of her significance. Without knowing it, she was my first body positive role model. And I suddenly understand why my mother is her mother’s biggest fan.