Danae Mercer is sharing an encouraging message about showing up for our younger selves.
On Wednesday, the self-love advocate shared a video comparing two videos of herself in a bikini, showing the two ways her body can look. She paired the clip with a lengthy, inspirational caption about being someone your teenaged self would admire.
“I read a quote the other day that said, ‘We grow up to become the woman we needed when we were 13,’ and it’s really stuck with me,” Mercer began. “When I was a teen, I never saw bodies like mine. Unless they were in advertisements telling me how to fix, change or remove my ‘flaws.'”
As she spoke, the text “Just remember that a body that looks like this….” appeared as she showed off her physical fit. As the video changed to a shot of her showing off her cellulite, the text changed to “…also look like this.”
When she was that age, Mercer recalled feeling insecure about her legs whenever she would visit the beach — something that stuck with her into adulthood.
“I remember being 13-years-old and hiding my thighs on the beach. It was a habit that stayed with me well into my early 30s,” she penned. So, I like this idea. This idea that we become what we needed when we were 13. And that now, as adults, we give ourselves comfort. We heal.”
She encouraged her followers to reflect on their teenage selves and try to rehabilitate them in retrospect.
“Today, I’d love to invite you to think about who you needed when you were younger. Was it someone with your body type existing in magazines? Was it a loving soul telling you it’s OK to eat? Was it a person who reminded you how your worth has nothing to do with your weight?” she continued.
“I don’t know your exact answer. But I do know this: We cannot change the past. But we can learn from it and shape our future. We all deserve ones filled with a little more self-love, a little more self -kindness, and, yes, maybe even a little more cellulite being celebrated on the beach,” Mercer concluded.
Fans thanked Mercer for speaking up about the “traumatic” exposure that women and girls have had when it comes to diet culture and “unattainable beauty standards.”
“Honestly, we all deserve compensation for the traumatic advertisements we’ve been subjected to. It used to be so much worse, but we’re still fighting unrealistic and unattainable beauty standards on a regular basis due to social media and celebrities,” one Instagram user commented. “The 13-year-old version of myself deserves better, and so does my current self! So, thank you for sharing this!”
“I feel the exact same way. I remember being really young and my thighs were constantly made fun of. I was ashamed of my body for so long. Thank you for posting this,” another wrote.
“I adore this caption. Thank you for this lovely reminder, Danae,” someone else added.
“This is so beautiful!” commented another.
One person weighed in: “Absolutely love this caption, and I would have loved to see my body type represented when I was 13.”
Last month, the body-positive influencer shared a video comparing what she looks like when she’s bloated to that of a pregnant woman. Mercer explained that the difference often goes undetected and urged her followers to refrain from asking if a woman is pregnant.
“Bloating vs. baby,” she began in the caption. “Or, stop asking women if they’re pregnant because these questions are so loaded and so complex.”
“And even when it comes from a kind place, it feels so loaded because there’s body judgment wrapped in somewhere. Because we may not know someone’s backstory (are they struggling to conceive? Is it delicate for them?). Because sometimes, oftentimes, it’s just bloating. So unless you are a close friend, a dear friend speaking in a safe space, leave that question out of the conversation,” she concluded.