Foxtail Forest

Foxtail Forest

A short film.

Two hikers wander in the woods at night...

Cover Image Credit: Andrew Bourne

To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Abnormal Weather Is The BEST Thing, You Can't Convince Me Otherwise

We all enjoy a nice cool day, but, in the winter or early spring, it's rare to get it — a dramatic rise in temperature is the best thing for you.

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It's snowing one day, and the next morning you look out the window to see girls wearing tank-tops and guys walking around shirtless. Some states hold the same temperature for months on end — it's a rarity for it to dramatically drop or rise like it does other places. When it holds steady, you know exactly what to expect.

For other people who live in the states — where you never know how the weather is going to turn out — it's a roller coaster. As someone who currently lives in Illinois, I know exactly what that's like. You might have to go out and head to class or work, and you're all bundled up and it feels like the cold will never end. That weather starts to bring you down because you know it's going warm up eventually, but it's just not there yet. The days continue to drag on as you wait inside, watching out the window.

But the moment the weather finally warms up and you see the sun shining, the stress of the cold or rainy weather finally breaks down — you feel the weight lift. Even if it just is one day followed by a day just as terrible as the last, you still have that warm air to drive with the windows down and walk around in your favorite cute shorts with a short-sleeved shirt. Everyone is out, enjoying the comfortable temperature. After all, it is proven that the warmer weather does lift your spirits. This way you're not stuck in your house because it's too cold to go out.

When it's warm out, take advantage of it by doing things such as going on a walk, swimming if you have a pool, walking your dog (or cat), or starting up your garden. There are endless things to do when the weather is reasonable enough to do them. Trust me, appreciate the warmth and make an effort! Who knows when the next night day will come around?

Recapping what I said — back to what the best thing about abnormal weather is — you don't expect it. One day you're freezing and trying to get to the next class, or walking from your car to the store or to your house. Then, you're actually taking your time to enjoy being outside instead of rushing to get away from it. It's uplifting and hopeful when you walk outside, not getting hit by a gust of chilly wind.

It's good for your mental health because it's not freezing or burning day after day. You finally get to see the horizon when it comes to spring or fall. So, you know what you have to do? Go out on that nice sunny day! You may not have another chance in weeks. Let's be real, I'm currently writing this outside because it feels much better than the last few weeks we've had!

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