Katie McMahon tells her powerful story of how 10 years ago, at age 18 she got liposuction, and was filled with regret. From age 10 onwards she was made painfully aware of her fatness, plagued by her mother’s projection of her own body-image obsession. At age 16 after a roller coaster of weight loss attempts, Katie’s mother offered to pay for liposuction as a graduation present once Katie turned 18. She was so sure that liposuction would be the answer to all of her body shame problems. She recounts when she first went to see the doctor:
“Even when he warned me about the potential health risks—including death—that came with such an invasive surgery, I wasn’t afraid. I was ready to do whatever it took to make my visions of thinness and the emotional fulfillment I thought would come with it a reality.”After the surgery she felt even worse about herself, with extra skin flaps, stretch marks, scars, and post-op pain. She could fit into a smaller size, but her body didn’t seem to fit her. Urged on by one of her college professors, Katie started to make peace with her body, practicing self-acceptance and eventually confronting her mother about her destructive comments. It’s taken a long time and a lot of hard work but she’s able to love herself now, and that’s an amazing feat for anyone. I’m so glad that she came forward and told her story, maybe it will help other young girls struggling with body image, or remind mothers to instill self-love in their daughters’ psyches, rather than shame.