It’s hard enough being a teenager. Imagine also being under the microscope as a hit singer. That was JoJo’s life in the early 2000s. Music execs told her she needed to lose weight “for her health,” a thinly veiled way of saying her “curvy” size 4 figure wouldn’t sell albums. So she went on extreme diets and took weight-loss supplements, but it was never enough to please her handlers.

Nearly a decade later, JoJo has learned a lot about loving her body, and she shares those lessons in a powerful essay for Motto. Here’s a little taste:

I will never have a thigh gap. Nobody has ever worried the wind might “wooooosh” a little bit too hard and knock me down. At 25, I’m a brick house adorned with battle scars and cellulite, curves and confidence. Some days I have abs, sometimes mehhh… I don’t know where they go. And you know what? It’s all good…

The possibilities are endless, really, when you accept how you were made and are able to celebrate your unique beauty, and find it in everyone you meet. When we focus mostly on our outward appearance, we neglect the important inner-work that must be done and the beautiful life-changing connections we can build with people. Ask yourself: What’s really important at the end of the day? Would being skinny (or curvy or whatever ideal you want to look like) really make you happy? Or is being a good person, doing good work, being a person of your word, and making a difference actually what satisfies you?