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If You Survived the Early 2000s Without Body Issues, Congratulations

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By TW: This article includes discussion of eating disorders, early 2000s diet culture, and weight stigma. If you or someone you know is struggling, please contact .I was 25 years old when I saw my first stomach roll in a magazine.

It was on and the model was Lizzie Miller. I didn’t have to Google these facts to remember any of the details because this photo shook me to my core.

For two and a half decades, I had only ever seen a midsection like Miller’s in my own mirror or the gym locker room. And if I had seen abdominal flesh like hers in any form of media, it was in the context of a “before” scenario, relegated to the left side of a double-paned image, with a flat-abbed, smiling version of the same person on the right.

Miller didn’t look ashamed or embarrassed by her lack of a so-called six-pack—she seemed downright joyful, and the juxtaposition of her stomach and expression confused me.

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