The 'Feeling Ugly' Manifesto
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Health and Wellness

The 'Feeling Ugly' Manifesto

Sometimes The Way We See Ourselves Can Be Skewed Negatively

The 'Feeling Ugly' Manifesto
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The way you see yourself is everything. Though society is making the effort to encourage accepting yourself for the way you are, we have a long way to go. Traditions in the way we think, act, and interpret others all has an impact on how we see ourselves. Women especially suffer from this by trying to understand themselves in relation to the rest of the world and somehow always feeling like they come up short. Millions of people worldwide suffer from low self-esteem, and I am no exception.

The past year has been one of the hardest in regards to how I feel about myself. Living away at college for the first time and making only two friends while being there, getting braces on for the second time in my life, not exercising, and eating poorly all had an impact on my deteriorating self esteem while I was trying to make it through my freshman year. I remember looking in the mirror and seeing a flabby, flat bottom and seemingly always bloated belly. Though people who knew me said I didn't look any different, I felt a lot different. I've always been petite, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking about my high school nutrition teacher describing people who were 'skinny-fat': skinny but unhealthy. Looked good but weren't on the inside. It consumed my mind. I had gone from being extremely active in high school to laying in bed all day, leaving my room only to go to class. My jeans started being a little too tight in all the wrong places, I started to feel gross in every outfit I wore. I remember going to Florida for spring break and for the first time in my life dreading wearing a bathing suit. I ate terribly and in turn felt lethargic, never wanting to get up and move. Because I had almost no friends, I was afraid to go to the gym alone. I had strange relationships with boys in pathetic attempts to boost my self esteem, but it only made me feel worse. It was a vicious cycle I knew wouldn't change unless I made a change.

Women are constantly reminded of ways that they are not beautiful. Unless you have a toned tummy, a voluptuous chest, round bottom, and a beautiful face, you aren't memorable. Romance won't find you and popularity will ignore you (or at least that's what we're taught). We think that if we don't get over 100 likes on our Instagram selfies, we aren't as pretty as the girls who do. We look in the mirror expecting only perfection and end up only ripping ourselves apart from the ground up. It's not our fault, it's just what the media and basically every aspect of life as a female has taught us. Men are not protected from it, either. Boys have a lot of pressures in regards to their societal expectations too, but I am not a boy and therefore cannot speak from experience. I'm just saying, we all have issues.

Making the decision to transfer to a university closer to home was a decision I absolutely had to make. I know myself and I know that once I get into my routines, it's hard to break them. Once I saw how I had become when I lived an hour and a half away in a dorm room, I knew I couldn't stay another three years there. Now that I'm home, I'm trying. I'm exercising more, attempting to eat better, and I'm making my hardest efforts to be as social as I can. I look in the mirror and I already feel better than I did when I was at school. For me, the solution to my problems was to try. I know that's easier said than done for a lot of people, but you have to find what works for you.

The thing we have to understand is that nobody, not even the models, look like the models we see in ads or on our Instagram feeds. Nobody has perfect skin and a toned tummy every hour of every day, so we shouldn't expect ourselves to have that ability. We all have ugly days, and they are necessary. But you can't keep staring at yourself in the mirror sucking in your stomach and expect to wake up the next morning feeling better about yourself. It just won't happen like that. You have to actively treat yourself better, and you have to tell yourself that the way you are is exactly the way you need to be.

We all deserve to feel good in our own skin. We only have one life and we only get one body. Life is too short to not fall in love with both of those things.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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