No One Is Immune To Body Image Issues
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Health and Wellness

No One Is Immune To Body Image Issues

Even the compliments with the best of intentions can be misunderstood.

No One Is Immune To Body Image Issues

Body Image.

We all have something we see when we look in the mirror. It may be something we like. But more often than not… it’s something we don’t.

Instead of seeing the beauty on our faces, we see the flaws. Instead of seeing our bodies as beautiful, we see them as “not good enough”, “fat”, “nothing to look at”.

I can definitely say that more often than not, the problem of people not being confident in their bodies comes from the pure obsession that media outlets have with showing the “ideal” body, the “ideal” perception of beauty.

But most of my problems with my body image haven’t come from the media. My body image confidence has significantly lowered because of people.

I remember the first time. It was in eighth grade. Eighth grade computer class. For some reason beyond my understanding, our computer teacher thought it was a great idea to show us how to find averages on Microsoft Excel by taking everyone’s height and weight and putting it on a spreadsheet…. after doing that, we would take the average using the specific tools that Excel provided.

I remember feeling uncomfortable. I remember not knowing how to respond to the fact that people in my class (well, at least the people at my table) would know my weight.

I remember going on the scale and biting my lip.

I remember seeing the number. And being okay with that number.

Until a girl commented.

A girl at my table.

Easily the prettiest, tallest, and thinnest girl in my class.

Every girl wanted to look like her, every boy wanted to hang out with her.

“Wow, Olivia…”

she said,

“You’re 5’1 and *** pounds?! That’s not good. I’m 5’6 and lighter than you! You need to do something about that.”

My confidence was shattered.

In eighth grade, I was already much curvier than everyone else. Since they were teeny-tiny dancers, they hadn’t grown into their bodies yet. I already had. And it made me feel so bad about myself.

Although I felt like the rug was torn out from under me, I continued my day. In eighth grade, I was relatively innocent. I didn’t know the impact that one comment would have on me.

It shaped the way I thought about myself for the rest of that year, throughout my high school years… and now, throughout my college years.

I remember the second time.

My freshman year of high school.

I was a swimmer, and my legs were muscular.

I remember going into my biology class, and a girl telling me that my legs looked like “tree stumps”.

It took all the willpower in me not to cry.

“They’re muscular!” I said.

I think I wasn’t only trying to convince her. I was also trying to convince myself. Convince myself that the size of my legs was because I was muscular, not fat.

That’s when the true issue began.

My body confidence was at an all-time low.

Did I tell anyone? No.

Many of my friends were dealing with body image issues themselves, and I was there to be their helping hand.

I kept it to myself… the lack of confidence, not feeling like my body was “good enough”.

High school.

I didn’t feel as if I was fat… but I definitely didn’t feel thin.

Until I started getting comments.

“Wow, Olivia, you look good!”

“Did you lose weight?”

“You look SO much smaller!”

I got many variations of these comments. And while most people would take these words as compliments, I took them as an of insult.

If I “looked smaller” now, was I fat before?

Why didn’t anyone say anything?

These thoughts consumed me.

They continue to consume me.

I look in the mirror every day and wonder if I’m getting thinner.

I cry if I don’t think I am.

Most people can’t wait to get back into shorts.

For me, it’s my worst nightmare.

With all the chaos in my schedule and my lack of confidence in my body in general, going to the gym in general is hard for me.

I constantly feel like my tree stumps are being judged.

I feel as if the people around me are telling me I look fine when in reality they all look at me and think about how much weight I can lose.

I’ve tried to go off carbs.

I’ve tried to deprive myself of all of the things I like most, just so I can look better in a bathing suit. I hate taking pictures where my whole body is showing, so I always ask to have them taken from the face up.

No one should have to live this way.

I should not have to live this way.

People tell me I have an “adorable shape”, and I try to believe them. But with the standards that society has set, I can’t.

No one is immune to body image issues.

Even the person with the most “perfect” figure can not like what they see in the mirror.

We need to keep comments to ourselves regarding other people’s shapes.

These comments have the potential to destroy them and consume them.

They sure had the potential to consume me.

Every day, I’m working on being the most confident person I can be… and I’m working on finding my body beautiful.

It’s hard. It’s sometimes so exhausting. But I’m doing it.

Don’t contribute to someone’s lack of body confidence.

Sometimes, a compliment like “you lost weight” can be misunderstood.

Just focus on being there for people… no matter what.

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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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