Your Body Doesn't Define You, So Stop Letting It

Your Body Doesn't Define You, So Stop Letting It

We were all created differently it's time we embrace it.

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As children, we were taught to love ourselves. We never cared about our hair color, how flat our stomachs were, or whether or not our legs looked good in the newest brand of jeans. Instead, we simply embraced our individual selves and celebrated our friends as well. However, as we continue to grow into tweens who would soon transform into teenagers, this strong self-confidence began to fade.

I began taking notice of my appearance when I was twelve years old.

I became obsessed with the way my body looked and I worked out excessively. I even attempted to cut out junk food and sweets from my food intake, which was incredibly rare for a middle school student. This insecurity continued for months on end until my mom sat me down and asked why I wouldn't eat a cookie for dessert after dinner one night.

When I told them about my growing insecurities about my body, my mom brought me complete reassurance. She reminded me that comparison is ineffective and it will only create a negative atmosphere. She also provided me with the reassurance that my body was in my control, and it was important that I treat it with care. I now use this phrase as a life mantra.

A vast majority of teenagers and young adults, most commonly women, have negative perceptions of themselves due to comparison to peers, social media, and celebrities. When we see perfectly toned Victoria's Secret models walking down the runway on television, it can sometimes make us feel bad about ourselves and question why we don't look the same way. However, we are not meant to look that way.

As my mother told me, we are in charge of our own bodies. We were all created to be authentic beings and embrace our beauty unapologetically, no matter how that may look to each individual person. We, among all people, have the right to pursue our passions, dress how we want to, and feel comfortable in our own skin.

All in all, the one person who feels concerned about your appearance is you.

On that note, embrace your flaws! No one is perfect, but no one is you. To keep my self-confidence in check, I refrain from spending too much time on social media. By keeping my phone down, I feel much more at the moment when spending time with my friends, and there is only a positive effect from this action.

I also make a point to look at myself in the mirror each morning and smile. Smiling has proven to be contagious (trust me, I've tested it) and it ensures me that I'm starting my day off on a positive note.

Another way to improve a healthy self-perception is self-care. Put on a face mask, light your favorite candle from Bath and Body Works, and watch your favorite show on Netflix to complete the ultimate self-care night. These simple things help your body feel loved, and more importantly, it helps you love your body. Despite what media may say, we are all beautiful in our own way. Now is the time we celebrate one another.

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Sorry I'm A Size 00

But I'm not really sorry.
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My whole life I’ve been thin—which is kind of an understatement. Every time I go to the doctor I get the same “you’re underweight” lecture that I’ve heard every year since I was able to form memories. I’ve never really felt insecure about my weight, I love being able to eat everything and not gain a single pound. Since my freshman year of high school I’ve probably only gained 8 pounds and I’m now a sophomore in college. Of course, in school, there were rumors that I was anorexic or bulimic, but everyone who knew me knew that was far from the truth. I’m now 19, 5’2, and I still have yet to break 100 pounds on the scale. It seems that there is a lot of skinny shaming going around and to me, one of the main contributors to that is the Dove Real Beauty campaign.

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this because skinny girls get all the praise and other body types are neglected. That’s really not true, though. While loving other body types, you are tearing down skinny girls. Why is it okay to do that to skinny girls but not to other body types? Why is it okay to say “only dogs like bones” or say “every body type is beautiful” until you see a model's abs, or ribs, or thigh gap and then tear them down because they’re “unnaturally” skinny?



The point I’m trying to make is that, as a naturally skinny girl, I have never shamed anyone for their body type, yet I go every day and get at least two comments about my weight. I’m always the skinny girl, the toothpick, but I’m not Jessica. Yeah, I’m a size 00. Get over it. If you have an issue with my body and feel like my body is disgusting to you, don’t look at it. I know that I’m healthy and I don’t need your input when my body just naturally burns calories fast. I don’t have an eating disorder and never have. I am real beauty though, and I know that because I’m comfortable in my own skin. So maybe the real issue is that we as a society have been shoving certain body types down our daughters’ throats so they begin to romanticize models that have certain standards that they have to meet, who work hard for the bodies that they have, and are making a hell of a lot more money than most of the people discussing why they look emaciated while what they’re actually looking at is the photoshopped product.

I’m not going to apologize for being skinny when that is just how my body is, I can’t help it. So please, stop tearing my body down while trying to bring your body up. You can praise your body without shaming skinny girls. Shaming me for being thin does not make you better than the man that shamed your body, just as me shaming you for being curvy does not make me better than the man that shamed my body. As women, we need to love each other because we are the only ones who truly understand each other.


Cover Image Credit: Victoria's Secret Untouched

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Do Not Define Yourself By The Numbers On A Scale

The number on the scale shouldn't make you want to eat less.

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To everyone who said they would lose weight during 2019: Don't listen to the scale right now.

I made a resolution to lose weight this year. Generally, I wanted to get back on track with the healthy lifestyle I used to follow. I played sports in high school, but in college, I realized didn't have time for it anymore. Working out and eating healthy makes me feel good, so I thought it would be easy to get back to my routine.

It wasn't easy. My schedule is so packed that I have to schedule time to work out. And it's not always easy to stick to that schedule.

Because I can't literally dedicate my life to being healthy, I thought that counting calories and weighing myself every day would lead me to a healthier lifestyle.

It didn't. The scale made me feel worse. Gaining a pound started to mean failure to me.

Counting calories was not bad for me at first; it allowed me to be more conscious of my food choices and control my portion size. However, because of my self-critical nature, things soon took a sour turn.

I have a tendency to overeat because I don't eat regular meals every day (thanks, college). Any time I would overeat, I would weigh myself the next morning and feel a little upset if I gained even a little weight or lost a minuscule amount of weight. This mentality really doesn't make sense; you can't gain weight that fast, and your weight fluctuates depending on many factors.

I decided to take a less strict and more flexible approach to my healthy lifestyle. I'm not counting calories, but I'm keeping in mind how much I'm eating and being careful not to overeat. Every once in a while, I'll have a cookie and enjoy it. I've been doing that a lot more lately, and it's okay. These aren't your "cheat" days; you're living your life.

The way we talk about food is so important. Yes, America's obesity rates are very high, but because of this, the fear of being fat drives the need for dangerous diets with extreme calorie restriction. The fear of being fat leads to Instagram stars advertising tea that is supposed to lead to weight loss (I'm talking about you, Kim K).

If calorie restriction is so unhealthy, then why are we encouraging it?

Everything is okay in moderation. In fact, we shouldn't really be saying that certain types of food are okay and others aren't okay.

It's okay to eat something because it tastes good.

It's okay to choose a "healthier" food as an alternative to one that isn't as healthy, but it's also okay to do the opposite.

Dieting can ruin our mentality. Guilt should not be associated with food. Food is fuel. It's what keeps us going.

The number on the scale shouldn't make you want to eat less.

Yes, I am trying to eat less, but not in the way you think. I am trying to stop stress eating and binge-eating at night. I'm trying to develop a healthier relationship with food. I'm trying to lose weight, but I don't want it to control me.

I let it control me for a while. That made me hate myself. So now I'm learning to love my body, no matter what number the scale says, and I couldn't be happier.

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