Raise your hand if you’re nervous about baring your beach body this summer. Everybody? Then you’ll relate to 13-year-old Paris Harvey’s biggest fear: wearing a bathing suit to a public beach. You’ll also get why it’s such a big deal that she not only faced her fear but posted photos of herself in a swimsuit on Twitter.
Harvey—who, let us remind you, is 13 years old—told Metro she’s dealt with bullying for years because of her weight and hip dysplasia, which causes her to limp. She wanted to stop internalizing mean comments about her appearance, so she hit the beach for the first time in three years.
“I was worried someone would come up to me and stop me or stare at me, but there was no response; people were just acting as they did before,” Harvey said. “I stayed like [that] for a few hours, and I started to feel comfortable in my own skin. I was proud afterwards. It was quite an achievement.”
As awful as it is that a 13-year-old has to deal with body shaming at all, the outpouring of support Harvey received is proof that community can help us all face our fears and insecurities together.