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Freeform’s The Letter had me wanting to try the body confidence challenge stat

The Letter is an intriguing new show with an angle I can’t believe hasn’t already been explored to exhaustion on reality television. The concept: What would happen if you told your best friend what you really think? Yes, some friends are honest, but many others hold back for fear of hurting feelings or being rejected. On The Letter, however, friends are encouraged to let it all out, while remaining somewhat anonymous. Furthermore, friends are asked to challenge one another to tackle exciting yet terrifying goals.

More: How the media is promoting unhealthy body image expectations

Tonight, four good friends (who met as sorority sisters at Hofstra University) decided to get honest with one another. Some of their missions felt contrived, but one really hit home, as it touched on a problem with which many women deal on a daily basis.

More: My exercise addiction saved me from crippling anxiety

Jill views herself as the life of the party, but her friends think she spends way too much time in spin class, in front of the mirror, and on the scale. Her anonymous letter mentioned her obsession with her weight and how it was quickly spiraling out of control. The writer claimed that Jill’s devotion to spin could eventually land her in the hospital.

Jill on The Letter
Image: Freeform

Jill’s challenges were simple yet incredibly challenging. The first step? Get rid of those pesky mirrors and scales, which she previously relied on to determine her self-worth. She’s certainly not the only woman to turn to the mirror or the scale more often than necessary — while watching the show, I began to think of how I could benefit from following similar protocol.

More: 16 women share the body image issues they’ve always struggled with

At the beginning of her body confidence mission, Jill was in complete denial about her problem, not to mention, understandably worried about heading out for work each day without looking in the mirror. She continued to struggle as she was asked to cover up all of her mirrors and resist the urge to sneak a peek. Surprise counseling also was a struggle. She didn’t really open up until she met with two women who had recovered from various eating and exercise problems, including anorexia and exercise compulsion. After facing a harrowing journey, these women managed to recover — and they convinced Jill that she should as well.

Jill on The Letter
Image: Freeform

Counseling and meetings with women in eating disorder recovery are not necessary for all women, but I do think that covering up the mirror and opening up about body image is a great idea. Many women hide their feelings of insecurity, but in being honest with themselves and with their best friends, they take a big step towards a better self-image.

What did you think of the first episode of The Letter? Is Jill’s challenge something you’d like to eventually try? Comment and share your opinion below.

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