How Much Pressure Do Boys Face to Attain the Perfect Body?

How Much Pressure Do Boys Face to Attain the Perfect Body?

Girls aren't the only ones struggling with body image
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It isn't just girls these days who struggle to get and maintain a "perfect" body. It's widely accepted that girls face intense pressure to look skinny in American society. Unfortunately, we forget about how boys struggle to get six pack abs and face similar pressures to build muscle. So, why do girls get faced with such pressure even though we acknowledge boys struggle as well?

The majority of women will say they are dissatisfied with their bodies, but, on the other hand, many of them can also tell you what they like about themselves, such as their eyes or hair. This is healthy because it shows they can assess themselves. Having a healthy body image is not about thinking, “I feel good about myself in all these areas,” because having areas for improvement is just the state of being human. According to the current literature, one in four women in Western culture will have an eating disorder — anorexia or bulimia — in their lifetimes.

Young boys, like girls, want to alter their body image in a way that doesn't come natural. It's concerning because we can look at an underweight girl and her parents and doctor might take notice. Yet, we look at a boy who wants to gain weight and workout and see it as relatively harmless. We don't take note that he could be preoccupied and obsessed until something is directly said. Chemicals are easily accessible, but not all of them are harmful. Any use of chemicals are potentially dangerous to your health of course.

Perfection is not truly attainable, yet people strive for it anyways, and for what? To impress that one person? To impress complete strangers out of the fear of being judged? It's not worth it if you're destroying your natural body. You have that body for a reason, the least we could do is treat it with respect.

Cover Image Credit: Candace Jones

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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How To Practice Self-Care In College

Due dates. Finals. Papers. Here's some advice on how to not go completely crazy during these stressful four years.

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Being a senior in college, I know how stressful and demanding school can be. Here are a couple tips on how to stay mentally and physically healthy during these four hectic years of our lives.

Trade your morning coffee for a glass of water. 

Instead of turning on that keurig as soon as you wake up, grab a cold glass of water. I'm telling you, it really jump-starts your morning. Bring a water bottle to class and fill it up throughout the day, too. Obviously, I still drink coffee because I basically can't function without it, but make sure to incorporate a lot of water as well. I've found that I'm more focused and awake the more water that I drink.

Eat breakfast.

I usually start with a bowl of oatmeal filled with whatever you want – blueberries, walnuts, cinnamon, and honey are usually my go-to. It's crucial to eat breakfast because it gives you energy for the rest of the day. You're basically fasting for 8 hours (let's be real, it's probably less than that) through the night, so you're stomach is empty and ready to go as soon as you wake up. If you're tight on time, grab a protein bar. I personally like the Think Thin chocolate mint protein bar, it's plant based and tastes like a dessert, so win-win.

Practice yoga.

I know, people in the world write about how amazing yoga is in their blog, but it's true. I randomly decided to take yoga in college, and it honestly changed my whole outlook on it. It's both mentally and physically rewarding; it keeps you in shape while at the same time helping your mental health. I highly recommend taking a yoga class, or even just looking up some yoga poses on YouTube and practicing at home.

Meditate.

I recently downloaded an app called Simple Habit, and it reminds me every day at a certain time to mediate for 5 minutes. Just taking that small amount of time out of your busy day to clear your head makes such a huge impact on your mental health.

Read more.

Put down that 5,000-page biology book for a few minutes and read something actually enjoyable. Recently, I've been reading To All The Boys I've Loved Before because I'm 13 years old. I think it's important to take some time to read something for entertainment and your own pleasure rather than always reading books for school. Not only does reading improve your cognitive skills and widens your vocab and can help you relax.

Write in a journal. 

I've always had a journal since I was probably in elementary school. Although I don't use my Girl Tech password journal anymore, I still like to write in a journal sometimes just to get my thoughts on paper. It helps me to reflect on my day and make sense of everything. It's kind of like free therapy. Also, I think it would be cool to go back five, ten, even fifty years from now and read my old journals and see how my mind has changed over time.

I can admit that I wasn't the best at self-care when I first started college. It took me a while to figure out how important it is to take care of yourself in order to stay sane and be healthy. It's hard to prioritize our own health especially when we're used to prioritizing school, work and everything else in between. Just making a few small positive changes in your daily routine can make all the difference.

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