"I wish that the world would view beauty like something that everyone has, not just certain people."
Those are the words of Emily, a 12-year-old girl who describes her cheeks as "chubby" feet "weird" and lips "thin" in an interview with Carly Gibbs about body image.
It saddened me to read the feature and the way some young girls spoke about themselves.
The insecurities, obsessive weight loss, and judging based on physical attributes.
As a female, it's something I've seen perpetuated in society. The "ideal" body type is on posters, in advertisements and social media.
There has been a big shift to address it but many plus-sized models are still only a size 14 and it's a viewpoint that is ingrained, so difficult to change.
As Enlighten Education New Zealand director Vicky Pond Dunlop said, you are "more than just a body".
In my view, a body is more than what it looks like, it's what it can achieve.
I remember talking to someone about why I go to the gym. They asked me how much weight I wanted to lose.
My answer to them was it is not about how much weight I lose, it's about how much weight I can lift.
I do not go to the gym to achieve goals about how much my body weighs. I go to achieve goals about what my body can do.
My body is healthy. It can run, it can jump, it can put more than 60kg overhead and pick up more than 100kg.
I don't admire friends at the gym for what they look like or their weight. I admire and celebrate them for what they achieve.
And not just at the gym. They are hard-working, good at their jobs. They have good family relationships and put time and effort into friendships.
I admire women such as shotputter Valerie Adams and Australian crossfitter Kara Saunders. Both are elite athletes who decided to take time off to have a baby. They trained throughout their pregnancies.
Adams gave birth in October 2017 and won silver at the Commonwealth Games in April 2018. Saunders gave birth in June 2019 and won the Australian CrossFit Championship in March 2020.
Twelve-year-old Emily says "we need more representation of people who don't look like Barbies".
True, but let's make them new-generation Barbies.
In July, Adams became immortalised as an official New Zealand Barbie Role Model shotput and gym bag included.
So bring on the Barbies. Distribute the one of Valerie Adams, make one of Kara Saunders. Make a Jacinda Ardern or Greta Thunberg Barbie.
Make Barbies of people who have achieved great things, not of people who look great. Teach those girls who to look up to, and why to look up to them.
Spread the message to young girls and women as they age that you are more than just a body. You are what you achieve, and you are how you treat others.
If we do all these things, maybe one day we can make Emily's wish come true.