An Open Letter to My Younger Self: Brielle Anyea

The SI Swim Search finalist writes a moving essay to someone she knew not long ago.

SI Swimsuit is all about giving our models a voice to speak about causes that are important to them and a place to share their accomplishments, goals and dreams. We offered our 2020 models an opportunity to contribute a personal essay to champion a charity they support, a venture they are passionate about or anything their heart desires. First up, we have Brielle Anyea who used this moment to pen a letter to her younger self.

“I want to thank SI Swimsuit for this opportunity to pen an open letter to the younger version of me. A lot of us growing up lack confidence and feel inadequate, unworthy of being anything significant. I once felt like this. Over time, I've been able to turn a new leaf over to unapologetic self-love. I hope this letter to my younger self encourages you to realize your potential and, if anything, to start loving yourself today. The biggest blessings fall into our lap when we choose love and happiness.

Hey Brie!

I am incredibly proud of you. Despite the bellyaches and hardships that come with growing up, you've been managing so well.

If you only knew how many barriers you would break, you wouldn't feel inadequate. You wouldn't feel as if life is only made to experience darkness but created to discover indefinite light.

For some time, you thought you weren't worthy of anything grand because of the world around you.

This world seemed aloof, created by members who crave exclusive assimilation.

Quite a few members of the world did their best to make you feel uncomfortable in your skin. You felt like something was wrong with you for being different.

I remember your late-night cries about your skin tone, your stretch marks developing over your "bumpy" legs, and your kinky curls that refuse to soften.

I also remember your prayers for the flattest tummy after stalking every high fashion magazine and the dreams to wake up an entirely new person.

The way our world made you feel still hurts my heart today.

I wish you knew those attempts to destroy your esteem were reflections of insecurity and dimness in society.

We have ways of making those that are "different" feel like outcasts from outer space.

I hope one day our world realizes how powerful we are when embracing the breathtaking beauty of difference.

I am so sorry it will take you a few years to discover your beauty.

I'm sorry it will take many nos to realize you too can create your own yes.

I am incredibly remorseful of the times I let you slip between the cracks of unworthiness.

But I want you to know it will make sense in a few years once you tap into who you are.

Girl, you will move mountains!

Your confidence will soar.

Your desire to create change will strengthen.

Your determination will open doors that were never there before.

You will meet amazing women and girls just like you.

They will have confidence in themselves after seeing someone like them, encouraging others to define their world, and inviting everyone else to be apart.

It is the hard parts in your life that will mold you into something incredible if you intercept the pain and turn it into lessons.

So please, as you continue to journey on, remember these few things:

You are amazing.

You are intelligent.

You are beautiful.

Your story matters.

Take that "exclusive" world by storm and turn it into an inclusive family.

Stay consistent and trust the journey.

Your body is perfect through every phase you take it in.

Do not let anyone else determine your future.

The best way to spark change is to become change.

Pass this on to the next girl who feels just like you.

I love you,

Brielle A.

P.S. I know it seems like life has continuous, gloomy obstacles, but with time and love, it gets as bright as the morning sun. ”

Alyssa Conroy