Following is the full transcript of 21-year-old South African model, and motivational speaker Caitlyn Roux’s TEDx Talk: Self-Love, Be Intentional at TEDxYouth@CapeTown conference. This event occurred on October 13, 2017.
I have a question for everyone. That question is: what defines you as a person? What makes you you?
A lot of us tend to define ourselves through our physical image of jobs, or bank balance and a lot of the time to what others have to say about us. I used to define myself through three things.
In high school, I was quite the people pleaser. I wanted everyone to like me because I thought that the more likeable I was the further that I would get in life, because being popular was so cool. And I tried so hard to become this person that everyone would like. A majority of the time I was living my life through other people’s opinions of me.
From the age of 16, I started to obsess over my weight. I wanted to look like the cover girl in Cosmo magazine, you know, the Photoshop one. My diet consisted of just salads and used to [leech-eat] on every single calorie that my body was consuming. I even went to the extreme of harming my body for many years to try and get rid of the food that I’d eaten because I needed the thigh gap and I needed the thin waist.
I was in a relationship for the last two years of school, and I truly believed that my happiness came from someone else giving it to me. I had put so much pressure on this other person to be everything to me, to make me feel worthy and make me feel like I was enough.
And then when the relationship ended, I was completely broken. I didn’t know how I was going to stand on my own and I felt like I lost a little sense of identity that I had and I was terrified of being alone.