Erin Nelson

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Erin Nelson is a 23-year-old senior at the University of Alabama where she is majoring in photojournalism. Originally from Clarksville, Tenn., Erin started to struggle with her body image when her family moved to Tuscaloosa, Ala. when she was a freshman in high school. After she graduated from high school, Erin went through treatment and was diagnosed as anorexic-purge type. Today, Erin focuses on school, photography, and staying healthy.

Q&A

What is your dream job? To work as a photographer at National Geographic and/or The New York TImes.

What is your favorite virtue? My artistic eye.

What is your favorite food? Chips and salsa

Who is your role model and why? Michelle Carter (a photographer at the Tuscaloosa News), because she keeps her head above water and doesn’t let perfectionism dictate how she feels about herself or her work. She’s told me over and over that she sees a younger version of herself in me and that gives me hope that I can one day not be so overly critical of myself and my photographs. She doesn’t know it, but she is a great inspiration for me to keep going.

What is your advice to women who struggle with body image? Don’t be afraid to talk to a friend or loved one, because you’re not alone.

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What is your idea of happiness? Feeling loved by the people around me and not worrying about whether or not I’m “good enough”.

What is beauty? Feeling confident in your own skin.

What do you enjoy doing most? Photography, both artistic and journalistic.

If not yourself, who would you like to be? I don’t want to be anyone but myself, I just want to be a more confident ME.

What is your biggest weakness? Having confidence in myself and my work.

What is your biggest strength? Being a friend to others and listening when they need someone to talk to.

What do you most value in your friends? Honesty, trust and their understanding of things I’m going through in life.

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