Girls Shouldn't Be Pressured To Have Perfect Bodies

Girls Shouldn't Be Pressured To Have Perfect Bodies

While the body positivity movement continues to grow, there is still a long way to go.

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Is there too much pressure on girls to have perfect bodies?

I sure think so.

There's a constant pressure on girls to look a certain way. We see it everywhere. In pop culture, all you see are models and actresses all basically the same size. It's discouraging for girls who don't look the same.

Young girls are highly impressionable to images they encounter daily. According to Body Image Therapy Center, an outpatient treatment center for those suffering from eating disorders, 81 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat. Additionally, 89 percent of girls have dieted by age 17.

There are many different causes for eating disorders. Some factors include low self-esteem, major life transitions, social difficulties and traumatic events like sexual and physical abuse. However, research shows mass media contributes to an increase in body dissatisfaction and disordered eating.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, "Of American elementary school girls who read magazines, 69 percent say that the pictures influence their concept of the ideal body shape, and 47 percent say the pictures make them want to lose weight."

Despite these alarming statistics, media organizations continue to bombard the public with images of thin models.

Last month, Victoria's Secret came under fire after Chief marketing officer Ed Razek said he didn't think the brand should have to include plus-size models in its annual fashion show.

It's disheartening to hear this and goes to show how large companies still don't care about plus-size girls. Comments like these can make girls who don't look like the models on the runway feel left out and unrepresented.

Another issue arising is the publication of highly edited pictures in magazines, ads and especially on social media.

On Instagram, there are pictures of girls who are seemingly perfect. But behind those pictures, are hours of editing and applying filters. People need to remind themselves those pictures aren't always real.

While the body positivity movement continues to grow and some brands are ditching the use of Photoshop, there is still a long way to go in order to accomplish significant change.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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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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To All Of My Brown Eyed Babies, Don't Forget That We're Unique And Beautiful, Too

An eye color doesn't make someone any less unique or beautiful.

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As I was talking to one of my friends, we came to the conversation of brown eyes. After complimenting me on mine and me doing the same for him, it suddenly hit me. I have this fascination with brown eyes, on ANYONE. I know that they are so common. I also know that everyone wishes that they were lighter, or had specks of green in them or maybe just a different color altogether, but I've learned to love and admire the beauty that is brown eyes.

I mean brown eyes in themselves are just as unique as blue or hazel eyes. So are green eyes, but those are little rarer to find.

I feel like brown eyes get such a bad rap because everyone is always in awe of the people with blue or green eyes. People tend to think that you're normal or basic if you have brown eyes because so does Sally, Jane, Maggie, Joey, and Parker and on and on and on. But just because someone else has the same thing that everyone else has doesn't make that thing less beautiful or special. Just because everyone has the same picture doesn't mean that the moment the photo captures is any less significant.

I found my immense love of brown eyes a few years ago when I met a friend of mine and became absolutely mesmerized by his big brown eyes. I quite literally could not stop looking at them. It was like all of the sudden something switched and suddenly all I saw were brown eyes, and I couldn't stop looking for them. Maybe it was part of me coming into my own because around that same time I was finally starting to become confident in myself again and with me having brown eyes…maybe that is why I suddenly saw brown eyes in a new light.

I hope that whoever reads this, male or female, knows that they are beautiful, big, brown eyes. I want you to know that just because you may have something that a lot of other people have doesn't mean that you are any less unique or special.

So, dear brown-eyed boy or girl, I love the way the light hits your eyes in the morning, and the way they sparkle when you laugh or smile. Never lose that, and always be proud of it. For all of us with brown eyes, I hope you find someone who loves your perfectly common yet perfectly unique brown eyes as much as I do.

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