Reflecting on how individuals can come to terms with body image, defying societal expectations

I used to be the fat kid. The one that was always picked on and chosen last for gym. The name calling was persistent, and I started to believe what I was hearing.

In a society where we are always comparing ourselves to others and focusing more so on what we don’t have rather than being grateful for what we do, it is vital to count your blessings, rather than asking for more.  

Celebrities are role models for people, both boys and girls, of all ages. People dress like them, talk like them and even try to look like them, and this is societies achilles heel. Take Kylie Jenner for example, no human being looks the way she does without going under the knife a few times, and this is something girls have a hard time grasping. Comparing yourself to unrealistic expectations is exhausting and pointless.

In today’s society, the youth struggles with perception of body image. Too many adolescents are choosing to starve themselves in order to attain this distorted “ideal body” the media has implemented in our minds. According to the website Just Say Yes, “80% of women who answered a People magazine survey responded that images of women on television and in the movies make them feel insecure.” In a world where we have become heavily reliant on technology, it only makes sense that the media shapes our viewpoints as well as the discussions we have.

Problems with youth body image have expanded to younger age groups. Companies such as Disney have been implementing the importance of beauty to young girls for decades. For example according to PBS, 80% of children who are 10 years old are afraid of being fat.” Instead of the scary monster under the bed it has turned into the scary monster staring back at you in the mirror. The media has the capability of shaping our generation and future generations minds and because of this it is vital that self confidence and appreciation are talked about.

If those stats don’t startle you this one will, according to Just Say Yes, “A study found that adolescent girls were more fearful of gaining weight than getting cancer, nuclear war or losing their parents.” This shows not only how ungrateful we are but how out of whack our priorities are. A positive mindset drives everything, instead of focusing on what can be changed we should be appreciating what we do have.

Fast forward to today, I have learned to love my body and embrace my curves. Believe me, it took time, but the key to it all is confidence. You need to be able to love yourself, before anyone else can. So next time you’re scrolling through Instagram and comparing yourself to the girl with a 23 in. waist and a behind the size of Kim K’s, remember she’s not real – but you are.