A British teen took on one of her biggest fears with a single tweet and her response to her haters has been inspiring.
13-year-old Paris Harvey suffers from a metabolic condition that makes her put on weight quickly. She also has hip dysplasia, which — when combined with her condition — makes losing weight difficult. The teen has struggled with body confidence due to her weight.
“I got bullied in the past and after a while, you start to believe what people say,” she said in the Huffington Post. “I became really insecure about how I looked.”
While on a trip to the beach last weekend, Paris decided she would confront her insecurities head on. She bared her body in an adorable patterned pink bathing suit and posted the pictures to her Twitter account.
The post went viral, garnering more than 335,000 likes and over 46,000 retweets.
Paris’ bathing suit photos were met with both positive and negative feedback, but the teen has chosen to ignore the haters.
“There were some bad comments and I read them at first, but then I thought, ‘Why am I wasting my time on those?’ I chose to focus on the support because hate is nothing compared to love.”
And the love from Twitter was overwhelming.
The experience and the teen’s positive attitude has given Paris wisdom beyond her years.
“I feel like we should embrace who we are. You shouldn’t have to change yourself to make others feel comfortable around you. Focus on yourself.”
That wisdom has rubbed off on her father, too.
“I am very proud of my daughter. Paris has been through a lot but she is just a normal girl and she carries on with it,” Bill Harvey, 38, said to Kent Online.
“I’m self conscious about things but I look at what she has done and it shows me that I shouldn’t be. She is an inspiration.”
Mashable has reached out to Paris and will update the story if we hear back.