Multi part series : The struggles of loving one’s own body and ways to overcome them... READ PART ONE NOW
Hi everyone! This is a multi-part series about the struggles of loving one's own body, and ways to overcome them. ..
What if I told you that you had to spend every single second of your life with your worst enemy. They make your life miserable and constantly bring you down, but you can't get rid of them. The only solution would be to make them your friend. Well, that's exactly how self love works. No matter what, you have to spend your whole life with yourself, in your body, so it is absolutely imperative to love the body that you have.
This is so much easier said than done. It takes lots of hard work, patience and persistence. But, it is possible, and in a much closer reach than you might think. I am in no means a professional, however, I have battled with loving my body for many years, and have finally come out the other side. These are a few of the main points I have learned from research, therapy, observation, and experience that have gotten me through many mental, emotional, and physical battles concerning my relationship with my body. Hopefully, some of the things I have learned can help at least one other person.
Important Disclaimer: All pain is valid. You do not have to look a certain way to have a negative relationship with your body. The tips I share are applicable to everyone.
It is considered “ the norm” for teenage girls to dislike their bodies. It’s the heartbreaking truth. But in order to address this problem, we need to look at the why? When did this start and how did it come about? It wasn't all of a sudden , and you most certainly weren't born thinking you were ugly or that you needed to change yourself. Self disdain is taught. It is the result of an extremely toxic environment. Our surroundings from a young age: The perfect dolls, we played with and the princesses we grew up watching were deceiving us. It is calculated that the average waist-to-hip ratio of a disney princess is 0.535 , meaning their waist measurement is 53 percent of their hip measurement. That's an even smaller ratio than Barbie dolls (.56). Such structures are literally, physically impossible for the human body to achieve without surgery. (The average waist- to -hip ratio for a female human is about .85.) Then, as you get older you hear comments about your physical appearance that nobody asked for. “ Wow, you've grown” , “Oh my gosh, you have gotten so tall .” “Looks like you've gained a little weight.” “Hunny, you should eat more”. As these types of comments become more common, it becomes more apparent that people are paying attention to your body. It's proven that young girls tend to take on their mothers’ and female role models' thoughts, feelings, perception and attitude toward their bodies. Young girls are vulnerable, malleable and sensitive. They observe the smallest details, such as a woman rejecting certain foods to “maintain a figure” , or a little comment about weight loss. Those details may seem insignificant, but they fester into a growing girl's mind; and teach her that she is only as valuable as she is “ pretty” (by society's standards.) Once you reach the teenage years, it becomes obvious. The majority of pop culture figures have unattainable features, complemented by surgery, photoshop, hair and makeup teams ect. Yet somehow, we are held to their standard. People often lose weight as a result of mental health issues, medications and illnesses. Yet , they are congratulated and told “ you look great, what did you do?”. While in actuality, “what they were doing” was suffering. The diet fads that surround us, the weight loss commercials, “glow up” videos that imply that weight loss makes you worthy of attention, millions of likes and congratulatory comments expressing envy. The hair dye, waist trainers, lip fillers, slim teas, diet pills, workout videos, face masks, makeup products… the list goes on forever. Every comment we hear of a friend saying, “ Ugh, she looks great.”, “I wish I had her body”, or “I wonder what she does.” . Every single detail plays a part in forcing us to shun ourselves. Add in the sexist and misogynistic concept of boys/men telling women what is “desirable” to them, and what is not; and there you have created an environment that makes it a struggle for girls to like themselves. The biggest problem is that all of this happens before you even know it. It is taught so gradually, so subtly and at such a young age, that most of us don't even realize until it's too late. You need to know it's normal, and that it's not your fault. Take a step back, consider that you are groomed to feel this way, and that you don't have to feel this way anymore.
- Consider that you are a pawn.
It is important to mention that a significant amount of what I just explained is for companies to capitalize off of you. The social construct that a woman's value is determined by how “ pretty” she is, makes it so easy for companies to profit off of people who just want to feel accepted and cared about. The diet and beauty industries are both 100 BILLION dollar industries. They have a vulnerable target audience, and a beauty standard so unreachable that no matter how many products are bought, it can never be obtained. Which brings in a cycle of spending money. Really think about this for a moment. Detach yourself from this situation and just look at the facts. Companies groom a target audience to believe they need to look a certain way in order to be desired, valued or cared about. Then, after convincing us we NEED to look a certain way, they sell us products that are marketed to bring us closer to this standard of beauty. Right there, millions of dollars. But, they are smarter than that. They know if the product will truly make you happy, you won't have to buy it, or any of their other hundreds of thousands of beauty products again. To combat this, they make the standard so unreachable, that you can never have enough. And that is how millions turn to billions. Know this, don't let them fool you anymore.
Part two ( containing tips 3-5) will be posted later this week. Stay tuned!