LaNia Roberts is an artist and painting student at Syracuse University. The 18-year-old, who creates striking, eclectic, portraits recently delivered an inspiring speech about self-love at her school. In her speech, LaNia talked about feeling ugly in her formative years, and battling with her weight. In high school she dieted, worked out, lost weight, and finally liked how she looked in the mirror. Roberts calls this moment of happiness “conditional self-love.”
“Little did I know that love was so conditional,” Roberts said. “It was like accepting the terms and conditions that you check when you’re making a new Facebook or something.”
In the summer before her junior year, LaNia started to gain the weight back, which sent her through a whirlwind of emotions.
“Every pound that I gained, I lost a pound of love,” she said. “So you can do the math of how much love I lost for myself. I would look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘Oh my gosh.’”
It was then that she decided to focus on creating artwork. Eventually she started college where she had an epiphany of sorts, and finally started on her road to self-love and self-acceptance.
“My love-handles was poking out a little bit, so I looked in the mirror and said ‘Oh, that doesn’t look too good,’” Roberts said. “’But somebody’s going to love them someday.’”
Roberts closed her speech by saying, “Love yourself unconditionally, people, because you are the only thing that you are promised your entire life.”
LaNia Roberts’ artwork is available for purchase at ArtBella.org, you can also follow her on Instagram.
h/t The Daily Orange