This honestly wasn’t going to be my topic for the week, but it has been more prevalent in the past two days than it has in a while. Body image issues have been around for forever it feels like, but it has really started to affect my generation and the generations younger than me.
Social media has been one of the biggest reasons why so many girls AND guys have body image issues in today’s world. For one, social media was created to showcase people’s life as a highlight reel. Therefore, you will only post what you look the best in and not worry about what the other people in the photo look like. Secondly, social media makes it easy to compare yourself to others. You see a picture of someone on the beach, and it seems like their life is perfect, but of course no one’s life really is.
When I was younger, I was tiny. Like, my metabolism was working double time. But, when I reached my senior year and beginning of freshman year of college, it stopped working that fast. Everything was finally catching up to me, as I had been told it would time and time again. I have been body conscious about certain parts of myself for a while now, although it would never seem like it.
If I do ever bring up what I don’t like about my body, people always tell me that I should never feel like that because I am “perfect”, which I never believe. I would just nod in understanding of what they said, although my mind thought a completely different thing about me.
I was talking to my aunt this weekend and she told me that girls who are my cousin’s age, girls who are 11 years old, are already comparing themselves to others. Girls, who should be worrying about if their mom will let them have dessert after dinner and playing in the park are more concerned with how thin they can be. I think this is one million percent messed up.
Then, even talking to some of my friends at dinner, they were talking about when the first time was that you realized you didn’t like a part of yourself. I thought it was crazy, this conversation we were having. We all knew we hated some part of ourselves but couldn’t even pin-point when this hatred of our bodies started.
Looking in the mirror, some days I am feeling myself and some days I’m not. Sometimes I want to wear a skirt and sometimes I feel like my thighs shake with every step. I used to contemplate the idea of not eating as much to make myself look like other girls. I have days in the summer when all my friends want to go to the pool, but I don’t even want to step outside in a swimsuit.
One time, I heard someone say that God created her in His image and likeness, and it didn’t matter what other people thought about her anymore. Because, she wasn’t trying to impress people, she only cared what God thought. This genuinely stuck with me, because yes, I know, it is so hard to love what you see in the mirror, especially when your brain can make you see yourself as something you are not. But, after hearing this story, I tried, well actually, am still trying to love my body more. Every day, I try to find one thing that I love about myself, and I am not going to lie, some days it is difficult, but it is necessary to love your body, because you only get one.
So, to the girl who doesn’t like what she sees in the mirror, know you are not alone. Everyone has things about them they wish could be thinner, more toned, bigger, shorter, and the list could go on. But, know that even if you do hit the point of “satisfaction”, your mind will waste no more than two seconds finding some other part about you to start hating. There is no “perfect” body, and there never will be, no matter how much you work out or starve yourself. It takes time, but little by little you can learn to love the body you were given more and more.