Teen Mom 2's Kailyn Lowry is one of the strongest young people we know. She constantly stands up for what she believes in, she's comfortable in her own skin, and she encourages her son Isaac to always be himself. We can't think of a more positive role model!
But things weren't always so easy for the reality star.
"When I was in middle school, I had a really hard time being called the 'chunky girl,'" she revealed to Wetpaint Entertainment in an exclusive interview at MTV Studios in New York City. "I would go on bouts where I wouldn't eat or try to make myself throw up."
The severity of Kailyn's struggle with body image comes as quite a shock — while she has always been open about diet and fitness, she rarely gets personal about her own experience. Instead, Kailyn likes to channel her pain into something more productive, like the Beauty Is Sizeless campaign, which strives to give girls of all shapes and sizes the confidence they need to embrace their bodies.
And now, at the age of 20, Kailyn feels healthier and more confident than ever.
"I know I'm not fitting in with the rest of the girls who are stick-thin or fit into a size 0 or 2, and that's OK,” she said. “It doesn't make me a bad person. It makes me a little different, but that's fine. I'm willing to accept that and not change who I am for everybody else. I want to be who I am for me.”
And more importantly, Kailyn strives to be a positive influence on her 2-year-old son. "I want to show Isaac that it's OK to be who you are, and who cares what everyone else thinks?"
Are you surprised to learn about Kailyn's struggle with diet and body image? Tell us your thoughts below. And to be sure catch Kailyn on Season 3 of Teen Mom 2 on Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 at 10 p.m. ET on MTV.
Lindsay Dreyer is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @LindsayNYC.