Body Image: An Unfinished Canvas
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Health and Wellness

Body Image: An Unfinished Canvas

Love your body for you: curves, edges, scars and all. You’re a masterpiece, show it.

Body Image: An Unfinished Canvas

The human body is a wonderful thing. Not only are we one of the few species today to have bipedal motion, but we also have the ability to communicate with a large and diverse number of languages. We are unique, special and amazing.

However, in that uniqueness, people breed hatred. Not every two bodies look similar, and some people use this as a way to make others feel sad, unloved and defeated. Those people are immature monsters.

They exist to make others hate themselves. They create an environment where people feel it is okay to discriminate against other people for physical appearances they cannot control. This body hate culture is one that affects nearly every single person on this earth, including me.

At the age of nine, I knew that I was not small. I knew that I was always the “elephant” of whatever room I walked into. However, I never felt insecure about my body weight and size. I loved who I was and the body I was in, and lived my life as every 9-year-old should: free.

However, it was when I entered middle school that my once felt securities now became the opposite.

Enter: the middle school bully.

I never experienced the physical representation of the color black until I heard someone say to me, “You should probably not go back for seconds at lunch.”

“What?” I thought, as I began to close myself in a shell of discomfort. A shell I now felt was too small for me and could break at any moment.

At the age of 14, I now began to see a monster stare back at me every time I looked at myself in the mirror. A monster that had the same hair, eyes, face, body, everything. This monster would talk to me and point out every flaw I had. He would stroke every stretch mark with his sausage-sized fingers and jiggle his love handles — the same exact stretch marks, fingers and love handles that I had.

It was after these sessions that I began to slowly hate myself and the ugly shell I lived under. I felt myself drowning in these layers of skin and fat that I didn’t want, but couldn’t rid myself of. I would try dieting and exercising, and that lead to no results except an increase of that horrible number on the scale.

High school started and I again felt the need to want to stop living like the horror I would see in the mirror every day. I spent four years of my life portraying happiness on my face, but on the inside I despised everything about myself: my own body, the clothes I wore, my face, everything. I would listen to that person in the mirror torment me with nasty comments about how I was overweight and would never be able to be normal sized.

After I started college, I vowed to change myself. I finally gathered enough courage to face the demon in the mirror head on. I told myself that, “Yes, I can and will defeat you,” every day for months. I started seeing myself change, slowly at first, then everything I hated became everything I loved.

I no longer had to listen to the mirror spray discriminating remarks at me because I had defeated him. However, along with this weight change came something I would have never thought to happen. I became obsessed with losing weight.

I became obsessed with strict dieting and consistent exercising to the point where I would only eat a meal if I worked out, sometimes skipping meals altogether, all to see that number on the scale decrease more and more. I started to not eat entirely and when I would binge on something… I would purge shortly after. I slowly started to suffer from an eating disorder. All because I was so obsessed with a number.

Without the help from my friends and family, I probably would have continued to travel down that dark road, to the point where I was at an unhealthy weight. My personal understandings of what a healthy weight was, were skewed because of the disorder I suffered from.

Today, I am in a much better head space. I know that weight fluctuates and that there will be good days and bad days. Sometimes clothes feel tight on me, and others, they feel as if I’m swimming in them, but I know that this is okay.

What is not okay is to feel discrimination for your body. Not anyone but yourself can truly understand what you’re going through. There is no reason for anyone to comment negatively about your appearance, whether it be your clothing, body size, shape or composition. You deserve the right to love yourself regardless of your physical appearance. Not one single person should be able to bring you down because you have extra cushion, are skinny, or anything in-between. What’s most important is that you understand what you want to be and how you want your body to look. No one else gets to decide that for you.

The human body is a canvas waiting to be painted and you’re the artist in control of the final print.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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