We Shouldn't Wish Our Bodies Looked Different

We Shouldn't Wish Our Bodies Looked Different

The pictures you compare yourself to can be deceiving.
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Living in the United States as a young woman can have many downsides to it. Not only does the occasional middle aged man hit on you, but society has unrealistic standards you're almost forced to abide by. Social media allows celebrities to post Photoshop-heavy pictures to mirror a body they do not have. Millions of comments flood in, saying "goals" or "I wish I looked like you." However, why do we wish for such things?

As an eighteen year old girl who is 5'2" and 115 from an overactive thyroid, I have heard every insult in the book towards skinnier bodies. "You need to eat a hamburger" and "you have no meat on your bones," have been repeated to me since I was a little girl. Not to mention the one time a random elderly man told me I was so small I could fit in his pocket... yikes.

Not only do these comments affect me mentally, they also affect my physical view on my body. After finding a medicine to help balance out my thyroid, I gained over fifteen pounds. Because of these outrageously rude comments, I didn't see a change in my body. I didn't see the weight gained in my face, in my hips, I just saw someone with stick legs. I explained my concerns to my friend, who rolled her eyes and said, "I wish I had that problem."

I get that phrase a lot, "I wish I had that problem," when I explain my trouble gaining weight. Because of my overactive thyroid, my metabolism works faster than most. I could eat every single cookie from a Chips Ahoy pack and not gain anything, while many of my friends complain that only one cookie makes them gain a pound or two. I've realized very quickly that although people say the above phrase, they never really mean it. Humans, naturally, have the desire to want more. However, if they had my problem (and vice versa), they would have the same complaints as me.

This being said, I want to explain why I am writing this article. This isn't a pity plea, this isn't to say skinny people have it worse than thicker people (they definitely do not). It's to show that the body that you're given is perfectly okay as it is. The Instagram model you see and compare yourself to is more than likely as insecure as you are. You are beautiful (or handsome) in every way possible.

You do not need to go to the gym every single day for three hours trying to lose weight, you do not need to cut your meals to where you only eat once a day, and you do not need to try to binge eat in order to gain weight. Your body is like a flower -- water it with love, and it will be in full bloom.

Cover Image Credit: Myself

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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