Changing my reflection

Macy Swiftney

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Senior Libby Plowman is hard to miss. Her bubbly spirit lights up the room and she constantly wears a contagious smile. She was always the happy and fun kid that brought joy to others, but the happiness that she spread was never felt by herself.

“I have always been falsely confident,” said Plowman, “I have always faked it, have I always really felt it? Not really.”

Freshman year was the hardest for Plowman. She stated that she had bad acne and she struggled to look in a mirror because it caused her to lose control of her thoughts and she would start to tear herself into pieces.

Her insecurities were something she felt were a burden and never showed them in the presence of her peers. She would avoid doing the normal things a freshman girl would do, such as going shopping because of one reason, and one reason only…she didn’t want to see herself in a mirror.

“When I [shop], I try to buy stuff online because I don’t like to look at myself in a mirror because I destroy myself,” said Plowman.

According to research by “Do Something” about 91 percent of women are unhappy with their bodies and physical appearance.

At the end of her freshman year, Plowman decided it was time for change. She started to find joy in things that surround her everyday.

“People, I think are my biggest inspiration because they can make your day, in any way basically,” said Plowman.“To compare and contrast my life to somebody else’s and then realize that you actually are not that different, I think it is really great.”

Plowman found hope in her peers because she was fascinated with the idea that she can share and learn from all of the experiences of the people who surround her.

She also started to, most importantly, love herself. She found the features she loved most about herself. Plowman started with her hair. She loved the color of her hair even though she did not like the length or style of it.

“Then I moved to my eyes, and I like the stormy gray that they produce and how it shows passion,” said Plowman.

Next she moved onto her height. She loved her height because she was short but not too small to be invisible. Plowman slowly started to love herself for her and was starting to feel real confidence.

Now, as a senior she has such a real positive energy and is currently the President of Catalina Cuties. Plowman uses this as an outlet to teach other girls to gain self esteem and allows her to spread her contagious energy and smile.

“It [Catalina] has allowed me a platform in a way to continue to show that it doesn’t matter what you wear, it doesn’t matter who you are as long as you love yourself, and as long as you are okay with every weird quirk you have and embracing it,” said Plowman.

Fellow catalina officer and friend, senior Eliza Lowe has known Plowman since freshman year. Lowe has seen Plowman grow immensely since they first met.

“Since we have gotten a lot closer lately I have really been able to like see her personality at a different angle than I have before.” said Lowe, “I definitely think Catalina has has given her more self esteem in addition to everything else she does.”

However Plowman’s life is not always perfect and happy. She has days where she lacks confidence and feelings from the past are relapsed.

“There is always times like when I am at home alone, like if I am just by myself and not surrounded by people, because I draw my strength from people.” said Plowman, “Still some days it is hard for me to look at myself, like I can’t look at myself for too long.”

On hard days Plowman gets out of the house to go near her friends and her peers, and away from mirrors or anything that may cause her to feel self-conscious.

Senior Kathryn Jaeger has been Plowman’s best friend since pre-school. Jaeger knows Plowman better than she knows herself and has always been there to support her.

“She is just such a good friend.” Jaeger said. “You know that she loves you and loves your heart. She is just so loyal.”

Plowman continues to influence people all around her. She draws people in with her happy spirit and welcoming soul.

“She is so motivated,” Jaeger said. “I wish I had the motivation that she has. She inspires me to get stuff done and do everything 100 percent because she never lacks any effort. It’s always 100 percent with her, all the time.”

Plowman has grown and learned to love herself since freshman year and found the importance throughout high school to not feel judged by what others think.

“My freshman year was a lot about discovering to love myself.” said Plowman, “So I faked a lot of it but as I have gotten older I have realized, why fake it when you can actually be.”

Surrounding peers continue to see Plowman as a influential person and find her self esteem contagious and inspiring and have seen her grow immensely.

“Libby is a very inspirational person.” said Lowe, “She has so many things that try and hinder what she wants to do and she doesn’t let them get in the way.”

The feeling of self-confidence and self-worth have become real in Plowman’s life and are now being spread to others through her accepting and loving personality that radiates out from within her.

“You have to start within yourself, and find the things that you love, even though there is a lot that you may hate, and then find the friends who will support you to continue to keep building yourself,”  said Plowman.

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