My name is Ria Jade and I am a 17 year old girl from Vancouver who is a singer, songwriter, musician, TV show host (a talk show called ‘Everiathing’) and a humanitarian/activist. I have an organization called ‘Paint it Purple’ that is my platform for my advocacies, to raise awareness for mental health, equality, and LGBTQ rights.
Growing up, I was bullied a lot and struggled with an eating disorder for two years. As of May 11, 2015, I have been anorexia-free for one year, but I still struggle with bad anxiety to this day. I feel like everybody is put on this planet for a reason and that everyone has a purpose to live. I feel like my calling was to help people, and whether it be raising funds through musical concerts, helping people achieve their dreams through their show, or helping to empower and strengthen others through ‘Paint it Purple,’ I am happy to know that in one way or another, I am doing whatever I can to help somebody out there.
I aspire to inspire and I hope that through my work, I am able to encourage others to do the same.
What has been YOUR biggest challenge or life obstacle that YOU feel has dimmed YOUR GLOW?
The biggest challenge that I have ever struggled with was when I dealt with an eating disorder. Weight has always been a huge thing for me. When I was little, I never ate, so I was extremely skinny. As I got older, I became bigger and was picked on for how I looked and what my weight was. My body has always been an insecurity of mine and there was a time that I was constantly harassed by others to lose weight that it became a constant voice in my head that pushed me to starve myself even when I became underweight. It dimmed my glow because it made me lose confidence in myself and discouraged me to reach and live up to my fullest potential. It really stunted me when it came to growing as a person because I remember for months, every day was a chore for me to just get out of bed and face the world. Now, I feel more empowered and every day, things get better. Sometimes from time to time I get the off feeling that I don’t feel as confident as I should, but at the end of the day I’m proud of myself because it’s the first time since I can ever remember that I’ve truly loved myself and was happy with what I see in the mirror.
How have YOU grown as a woman in the last year? What lessons, insights or ah-ha moments have you had?
I grew up worrying a lot about what other people thought about me. In the last year, I learned that you can be happier if you focus more on how you see yourself rather than how others see you. I cared too much about how strangers perceived me. Thankfully, I had the love and support of my family through thick and thin, who helped me to love myself and be happy.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that overcoming an eating disorder is more than ‘just eating.’ It is a daily battle to tell yourself each and every day that you are worth something and that you are beautiful. The biggest moment I definitely remember that has helped me to grow is the first day I left the house feeling happy with myself. I wore shorts, a shirt, and my hair was dyed neon pink, and it didn’t matter what others thought about me because for the first time in a long time, I felt happy and I felt beautiful. I encourage everyone to embrace their differences and wear what they want and look how they want to.
Nobody is perfect, but it is our imperfections that make us truly beautiful.
What else do YOU want to share with the YOU GLOW GIRL! Community?
I want to encourage all young girls out there that it’s okay not to be okay.
As someone who until this day struggles with anxiety, I know that most of the time, I’m afraid of opening up to others about my struggles. I want people to know that there is always somebody there for you, whether it is a parent, friend, teacher, or total stranger. I’m here for any girl or boy who needs to talk or just needs somebody to lean on. (Feel free to email me at email@example.com) The best thing that you can do when you are battling something is to talk about it because holding it in could just hurt you in the end. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone.
Another thing I want to encourage is for everyone to be themselves and never change themselves for anyone. If you want to dye your hair bright blue, do it. If you want to wear shorts, do it. If you want to make your hair big and curly every day, do it. If you want to date boys or if you want to date girls, do it. Do things because you want to do them and because they make you happy because you deserve to be happy. To the person reading this right now – you are beautiful and you deserve the best that the world has to offer. Don’t ever let anyone tell you different, and never let anyone dim your glow. You rock!
Every woman has a story. Glow Girls are women who are consciously creating the lives their hearts and souls desire even though life has presented them some challenges and bumps along the way. Their light shines through the cracks creating GLOW. Every week we feature a new GLOW GIRL and her story. Don’t miss it! Join the YOU GLOW GIRL! Community on Facebook. Want to share your story? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to become a Glow Girl!
Learn more about Diane and how she can help you or your organization here!