Tell Young Girls and Boys How You Love Your Body (and mean it)

Tell Young Girls and Boys How You Love Your Body (and mean it)

We can’t expect children to love their bodies if we ourselves can not love ours.
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Tell Young Girls and Boys How You Love Your Body (and mean it)

We are the most self-conscious, low-self-esteemed, malnourished generation to ever live and it’s getting worse every day. With every Maybelline commercial, Victoria Secret Fashion Show, newest edition of Sports Illustrated, famous “Imshmacked” account post, featuring only the most ill-clothed (and oh by the way probably anorexic) females, overly-edited/overly-surgically-modified Kardashian post, popular-teen-Netflix-binge-watch-series depicting the “perfect American girl” (not naming names but Gossip Girl 2001-2012), and the list goes on, it’s getting worst. In case you are unaware of just how prevalent eating disorders are amongst people of all ages, genders, and sizes, here are some basic statistics reported in 2017:

  • At least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S.
  • Every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder.
  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
  • The number of children with hospitalized eating disorders has shot up 72 percent in 10 years.
  • Genetics, environmental factors, and personality traits all combine to create risk for an eating disorder.

From this list, I’m sure you have already concluded that environmental factors are the main contribution to the rise in eating disorders within our generation due to the fact that genetics, and personality traits are unchanging factors. And by environmental factors, I mean medias societal stereo types that are portrayed, and unfortunately unavoidable, for our technology-crazed generation.

Kids are practically coming out of the womb watching television and they’re getting iPhones by the age of six (2017 study). By the same age, they’re having access to social media and the abundancies of the internet. As technology feens ourselves, we know what this access entails, and the societal pressures that can come with media if we allow it to become too big a part of our lives— greed, and self-doubt.

And if you think you have societal pressures now as a matured adult, think of the societal pressures of the children. Media is giving them disgustingly unrealistic expectations for their social lives and appearance at the age of just six years old. It’s no wonder our generation is experiencing an epidemic of eating disorders.

How can we fix it?

It’s simple really, tell young girls and boys the truth. Tell them that these computer-generated images are false depictions of human capabilities. Tell them that the model in the picture truthfully doesn’t look like that. Tell them God made them in His image and likeness and He does not desire for them to look like a paper-cut-out of the “hottest” celebrity. He wishes for them to look like them because uniqueness is what sets us apart as individuals. Tell them that difference is something to embrace, not shun away from. And finally, tell young girls and boys how you yourself love your body, and mean it, because it’s yours and there’s not a single one out their exactly like it. We can’t expect children to love their bodies if we ourselves can not love ours. To come to love your body probably means change for you, make it. Because truth is, the only way to change society is to first, change yourself. We can’t expect children to rise above the take over of illustrious media until they know the world will accept them as they are. This acceptance comes in one simple, primary form: acceptance from those adults closest to them, and exemplary self-loving. How beautiful of a movement would that be? Accepting others for their different shapes and sizes, all while loving our own shape and size. Imagine the lives we’d save.

Cover Image Credit: A beautiful friend

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To All The Nurses In The Making

We tell ourselves that one day it'll all pay off, but will it actually?
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I bet you’re taking a break from studying right now just to read this, aren’t you? Either at the library with friends or in your dorm room. Wherever you may be, you never get the chance to put your books down, at least that’s how it feels to most of us. It sucks feeling like you’ve chosen the hardest major in the world, especially when you see other students barely spending any time studying or doing school work. The exclamation “You’re still here!” is an all too frequent expression from fellow students after recognizing that you’ve spent 10-plus hours in the library. At first it didn’t seem so bad and you told yourself, “This isn’t so difficult, I can handle it,” but fast-forward a few months and you’re questioning if this is really what you want to do with your life.

You can’t keep track of the amount of mental breakdowns you’ve had, how much coffee you’ve consumed, or how many times you’ve called your mom to tell her that you’re dropping out. Nursing is no joke. Half the time it makes you want to go back and change your major, and the other half reminds you why you want to do this, and that is what gets you through it. The thing about being a nursing major is that despite all the difficult exams, labs and overwhelming hours of studying you do, you know that someday you might be the reason someone lives, and you can’t give up on that purpose. We all have our own reasons why we chose nursing -- everyone in your family is a nurse, it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, you’re good at it, or like me, you want to give back to what was given to you. Regardless of what your reasoning is, we all take the same classes, deal with the same professors, and we all have our moments.

I’ve found that groups of students in the same nursing program are like a big family who are unconditionally supportive of each other and offer advice when it’s needed the most. We think that every other college student around us has it so easy, but we know that is not necessarily true. Every major can prove difficult; we’re just a little harder on ourselves. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with your school work and you want to give up, give yourself a minute to imagine where you’ll be in five years -- somewhere in a hospital, taking vitals, and explaining to a patient that everything will be OK. Everything will be worth what we are going through to get to that exact moment.

Remember that the stress and worry about not getting at least a B+ on your anatomy exam is just a small blip of time in our journey; the hours and dedication suck, and it’s those moments that weed us out. Even our advisors tell us that it’s not easy, and they remind us to come up with a back-up plan. Well, I say that if you truly want to be a nurse one day, you must put in your dedication and hard work, study your ass off, stay organized, and you WILL become the nurse you’ve always wanted to be. Don’t let someone discourage you when they relent about how hard nursing is. Take it as motivation to show them that yeah, it is hard, but you know what, I made it through.

With everything you do, give 110 percent and never give up on yourself. If nursing is something that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life, stick with it and remember the lives you will be impacting someday.

SEE ALSO: Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Cover Image Credit: Kaylee O'Neal

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How I Used This Summer To Teach Myself Self-Love

Summers are usually for vacations in Paris, concert festivals with friends, and once in the lifetime opportunities, but this year, I decided to love myself.

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This summer was my first summer home from my first year of college which was pretty rough. My first semester of college included me living under the shadow of an emotionally-abusive boyfriend and losing my dad and the second semester of college was me trying to get out of that shadow and being able to cope with the passing of my dad. I did not think I would even make it to the summer in one piece because of how much heartbreak and betrayal I went through. I thought college was supposed to be where you found yourself and live the best years of your life.

I was completely wrong about that, and I knew that was why this summer, I had to use it to find myself once and for all.

It was hard because I did not know what I wanted. All through my first year of college, I had friends and family in my ear telling me what I should and should not do. They controlled my actions towards things and even though I initially thought that that was the best for me, deep down I knew that that was not the person I wanted to be.

The first thing I did this summer was get a job. I had jobs back in school, but I wanted to try something new and more serious. I got a job and learned leadership skills and how to be on my own. I refused to let myself call out for friends or for 'being sick' and become much more independent by landing a serious employment opportunity. I was not about to throw it out for other people because I knew to have something to do was what was best for me.

I then kept away from a lot of my first-year college friends. I would get calls every other day asking if I wanted to go out on late nights, but I declined them all. The first reason for declining them was because of the fact that I did have work in the morning and going out at midnight was not good when you have work at eight. The second reason was that I did not want to be part of that crowd. People used this summer to drink, do drugs, and party, and I knew that hanging out at midnight meant doing just that when there is nothing else to do in my town, but drugs and alcohol. I did not want any distractions from what mattered and I wanted my mind to be free of anything that can alter it so I stayed away. I did not want to be peer pressured and come back under my friends' control so I kept declining until the invites were no more.

Throughout the summer, I ended up making new friends who would let me sit and talk to them about anything and everything and rant to them when I needed to. I am a person who likes to vent and because I had no one to listen to me before, it was all bubbling up inside me. These new friends listened until the end and gave me the best advice. They never told me to do something, they advised me and that was a complete change. I was starting to be able to make decisions for myself.

The last thing I did this summer was completely getting rid of anything that was not me. This includes clothes, values I adopted from other people, and goals. Some things I did not want to do but other people wanted me to do. I had become a puppet in people's games and all I wanted to do was fit in. However, I realized that you did not have to fit into people's mold and there are other people out there that value the same things you do without you having to change what you believe in and what you strive for. I started researching and finding out about organizations that fit my aspirations and I was blessed to be chosen to be a part of all of them.

This summer began to be filled with negativity but now it is all positive as I start my second year in college. I had to cut off everything bad and find my purpose without the control of others and now I am truly happy with myself and all the blessing I have this upcoming year.

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