At 16 years old, girls have many things on their minds. From school to friends to sports and extracurricular activities, teenage girls have a lot to think about. And like most girls her age, Genevieve Zuniga has something else on her mind in addition to these commonplace concerns: body confidence.
According to The Huffington Post, Zuniga created a video entitled, “Beautiful, Loved and Important!” to share her struggles with body image. Zuniga told Bakersfield Now that she originally didn’t intend to post her video to social media, but upon posting it to Facebook, The Bully Project, a social action campaign to stop bullying, reposted it on their Facebook page. Since The Bully Project shared Zuniga’s video on Sept. 17, it garnered almost 2 million views.
In the video, Zuniga stands in her bathroom and writes the insulting words others have called her, inscribing words like “ugly” or “fat” onto her body with a marker. She explains, “Whether I felt too fat or too stupid or too ignorant or too loud, I always felt too something and not enough another thing.” She goes on to say that even though she’s tried to shed these insults, they’e somehow remained a part of her.
However, The Huffington Post says she begins to wash away the marks the insults left on her — both literally and figuratively — by dousing herself with bottles labeled “support,” “hope” and “love” before completely submerging herself. “She emerges free from the stains left behind from negative body talk, ending the video by writing new words on her body including ‘beautiful’ and ‘important,'” says The Huffington Post.
Zuniga told Bakersfield Now that as a result of her video going viral, she’s received “messages from all over the world from people thanking her for the powerful video.”
As she should. Thank you, Genevieve Zuniga, for teaching us how to accept ourselves and cleanse ourselves of the negativity others have cast our way. You are truly an inspiration.