An Open Letter About Body Shaming

An Open Letter About Body Shaming

Food shaming is the New Black.

Dear Foodie,

When it comes to women's body image, there are plenty of discussions about it and how it affects girls starting from a very young age.

Criticism is usually addressed towards agencies which have been using models that are "too skinny" and therefore, create unrealistic expectations about girl's body.

There are also complaints when it comes to other brands who use women who are defined as "plus sized" models as their poster girls. The main critique in both cases is encouraging and labelling a specific type of body as "beautiful" and this attitude may push people towards health problems such as anorexia or, on the other side, obesity.
The debate is open and endless, even more dead ended that the last presidential debate: people can't agree on what's best. But the main problem is, oftentimes, not the "body shaming" as much as the food shaming.

Regardless of their physical appearances, girls (and in many cases also boys) feel the need to justify what they are eating and why.
"I'm eating an extra cookie because I worked out today." "I'm taking fries as a side because I haven't eaten lunch." "I'm eating ice cream because I'm so stressed and I've studied all day."
We (and I speak from personal experience as well) feel like there's some sort of calculator provided audience who are monitoring how much calories we ingest during the day. Like there's some sort of alarm that is gonna be triggered if we eat a burger instead of a salad. And that's the first main problem connected to body shaming, because if we can't accept our need for food and we don't develop a healthy relationship with it, there's no way we can even think about developing our own idea about bodies and weight and so on.

We don't need to justify ourselves. We can eat when we want and what we want without hating ourselves for it.
It happens maybe more with girls than with boys. Starting from an early age, boys are encouraged to eat a lot because they're expected to grow up strong. And in their case, body shaming is sometimes being the skinny one. While girls should eat, act, and sit "like a lady". I could probably eat three times what a professional 200 pound football player eats, even though I'm five foot six inches and a girl.

Like Jennifer Lawrence said, "In Hollywood I'm considers a fat actress, I eat like a caveman. I'm never going to starve myself for a part; I don't want little girls to be like, 'Oh I want to be like Katniss so I'm going to skip dinner'."
I don't need to justify myself. I can work out all day and then allow myself to eat ice cream or I can lay on the couch all day and then eat ice cream, simply because I want to.
If you need a justification, I'm mourning Derek Shepherd's death for you.

Food is one of the few pleasures in life, don't allow it to become a war against yourself. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you without thinking of what other people will think. They're probably busy with their own struggles.

A girl who is still trying to accept her body image

Cover Image Credit:

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Poetry On Odyssey: Some Days

A poem that reminds you that you're not alone.


Some days,

You dread the sound of your alarm. You snooze and snooze and snooze and snooze.

When you finally pull yourself out of bed, pressed time forces you to throw on stained sweats

you find yourself chugging a cup of coffee.

You sit on the couch and contemplate calling out of work

You caught the stomach bug,

Or perhaps the flu,

Maybe you broke your collar bone

Or need a new phone

The endless list of excuses repeats through your head as you sit on the couch, wishing you were still in bed.

It takes every ounce

Every breath

Every fiber of your being to pull yourself off the couch

And into the car

And into the building where you work

Some days,

This is just how it goes

You are not alone.

Some days,

You awake to the beautiful sound of birds

Chirping outside your window

The sun sneaks its way into your room

A smile creeps across your face as you realize you are awake to see a new day

You make a good breakfast

You read a few pages of your favorite book

You get your mind ready for the things it will accomplish today

Before you know it you've worked an entire day

Your job is done

As you pull into your driveway,

you take a few breaths

Feeling grateful for another meaningful day.

Some days,

This is how it goes

You are not alone.

Every day is a gamble,

Every day is a gift

The key to getting more good days

Is believing that everyday is one.

You are not alone, this is just how it goes.

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