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Meet Amani! Teen Guest Blogger

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Resurrection Sunday!!!!

I am so excited to continue Totally Tot's teen takeover month on the blog! This week I have the lovely Amani. I met Ms. Amani at a church event for teens. I was one of the guest speakers and afterwards, I mingled and got to know a few of the kids. I instantly connected with Amani and her sweet spirit. She has the sweetest demeanor and we shared a bit that day and I instantly knew I wanted her to be a guest on my blog.

 Amani just turned 16 yrs. old this year and she is a Sophmore in high school. She has dreams od being a veterinarian someday.  I asked Amani to share her story on being amazingly unique and her journey to accepting her greatness. Read on to be inspired by this young lady and her super fabulous red dress!!!

Meet Amani...

If I could describe every teenage girl's life in one word, it would be underrated. There are many obstacles that teenagers have to go through during their lifetime to make sure they can be the best they can be. Teenagers are scared to be unique and show their true quality just because of what one person thinks. The hardest obstacle of being a teenage female is learning how to love yourself in your own skin. So I will tell you my story of how I learned to love myself and be brightly unique. 
My name is Amani Roach and I am 16 years old. 

Yes, you have read it right. AMANI ROACH. It says it right on my birth certificate. That was my first obstacle of loving myself. The worst weapon that anyone has ever used was words. I was looked down upon and disrespected just because of my name. It was the first time I have ever felt different. It was to a point where I put myself in a shadow so no one would say my name in class.I even kept myself from achieving in honor roll so my name wouldn't be called in award ceremonies in front of a huge crowd of insignificant people. If only I would've told myself to be unique back then.

The next obstacle in my life started at the age of 9. That was the first time I was hospitalized for having chronic asthma. After that every year I was hospitalized for a week. I started missing a lot of days at school. When you miss a lot of days people and friends start to fade away. 

Next was freshman year of high school. High school was very different. I joined cheerleading for the first time and found new friends. Everything was perfect up until homecoming where we got our uniforms. I thought there was only one type of body shaming. I was completely wrong. Everybody had an opinion on my body. My legs and arms were too skinny and I didn't have any hips or a butt. I started to hate my body and cover myself in baggy, hot clothes. I was asking my Mom how to gain weight.

Then my mom and I talked and I thought about all of the opportunities I have had and all of the love that I have always received. I am an only child on my Mother's side and the only grandchild, so the love and attention I have received have always been overflowing. I am an older on my Dad's side, to my sister Anaya who I love. I have recently found out that my Dad changed his name to Roach because he thought it was cool! WOW! I have learned to appreciate my name more once I learned this from my Dad. 

When it comes to insecurities, I won a pageant in 8th grade and I started to see how special I am and that gave me a new appreciation for my body. Recently, I have been recruited by my sewing teacher and she asked me to model her amazing designs in New York for Fashion Week! These opportunities have helped me to accept myself much more!

I was Miss black Illinois Jr teen. I went to New York fashion week to model before I was 16. A lot of people in New York admire my body. I have been in a magazine. I met Zendaya.I haven't been hospitalized since 2015. 

I am still alive when other teens were unfortunate due to their asthma. And I still have a very unique name! A young woman like the sun should always stay bright. I am brightly unique, are you?

How amazing is Amani and her outfit?! I am so encouraged by her story and her journey. May we ALL learn how to accept our amazing and unique qualities like Amani.  

 This future super model veterinarian has a huge future and I am so excited for her!!!!

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