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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The Complicated Love-Hate Relationship I Have With My Body

We all have times where we look in the mirror and either love or hate what we see.

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People are always saying how you should love yourself just the way you are. You should embrace yourself and feel beautiful in your own skin. There are times that I do. Times where I step up and say this is me, this is who I am. However, there are also times where I look at myself and say, this is not me, this is not who I want to be.

I've always had a love-hate relationship with my body. I go days where I feel good about myself and love who I am no matter what. Then I go days where I hate everything I see and want to hide away from everyone. I just can't seem to find a middle ground.

Sure you can make plans to change yourself, but even then, I feel like you'll always see a flaw. My body has changed from time to time, but no matter what, I always find something to hate. I just can't seem to find the confidence in myself to accept who I am. I wish that I could.

I wish I was someone who could love who they are.

I try my hardest to respect my body. I've told myself that I'll work hard to keep it healthy. I made a promise that once my current spine injury has healed that I'll work harder to get where I want to be. To work hard towards loving myself more often than hating myself.

It's a dangerous mindset to have, the hate sometimes consuming you. I also struggle with bipolar disorder, so when I'm in a depressive phase and hating my body things get dark. I feel disgusting and I just wish I could tear pieces of my body away.

You turn away from mirrors, you try to wear clothes that hide the things you don't like, sometimes when you catch an angle of yourself that's particularly bad you just stand there staring, hating it all.

Then you walk with your shoulders back and your head held high. You wear clothes that make you feel cute and you don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You love yourself and decide to be happy.

This constant yo-yo of a relationship is exhausting.

The hardest for me is looking at pictures growing up. Looking back on the way my body changed and trying to pinpoint where things went wrong. Seeing a picture and thinking, 'look how good I look there.' It doesn't even matter if it's a happy memory. If my picture captured a really good moment. All I can focus on is what I look like.

My fear is that these thoughts will never change. I can learn new tricks to help me stay positive. Learn new ways to love myself. Even if I change things, that there truly will always be something I don't like. It hurts to look at yourself in a mirror and only see something gross staring back at you.

To not see yourself, to only see everything you don't like. It makes you want to crawl into your skin. You don't want anyone to see you in fear that they might see the same thing.

When the confidence comes I savor everything moment I have of it. I take pictures, I like to go out, I live my life as a happy me. I try to hold on to that love I have. To remind myself that I am OK. That I can love myself, but that it's also OK to not like some things. I don't have to find every piece of me perfect because no one is perfect. We all have flaws, it's just about learning to accept those flaws as a piece of who we are.

I know that this love-hate relationship will always be there, but I will always be there to try and fight it. I will work hard towards finding that confidence inside myself and let it shine. We all deserve to see the beauty we have, that no matter how bad seems, there are parts of us that are beautiful.

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