I am going to preface this post by saying, it’s a bit more on the psychological and emotional side than other posts. Honestly, I’m not too sure how it will turn out, so please bare with me. Between my various classes, I’ve been learning a great deal about happiness, social comparison, and body image. There are countless posts out there about body image, how we view ourselves, and what to do. But it’s often easier said than done. I have fought against the media and society’s expectations for a number of years. It’s tough to live in Southern California where you are valued by your looks, magazines flaunt the girls with 00 waists on their covers and titles like “drop 10 before summer” or “how to become thinner and happier.” I found myself surrounded by a number of these girls at Stagecoach; everyone from the “pretty people crowd” looking to see and be seen.
We compare ourselves upward to those who have “more.” This may be material goods, a “better body,” a better social life, etc. But what we have to realize is it’s all subjective. It all comes down to is what you value as important. I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to understand what is normal, what is right, and what I should be doing. Wrong. I should be focused on what makes me comfortable and happy, finding the individuals that enjoy similar things. Sure, it’s a give and take and trial and error process, but we will only learn by trying.
Around middle school I started to clue into how media and society was trying to influence young girls. Only those who are trendy, skinny, and cute will find success. False. I have found that those who work out more, have more confidence in themselves and this will only help them later in life.
You know, I’d rather be one of those girls who can compete in athletics, can run a half marathon (or even a few miles). Yes, I may not have the smallest of thighs, but it’s muscle. I pride myself on my athletic capabilities, even if they aren’t at the standards of Brandi Chastain, Chrissie Wellington, or the likings. And we must each define success in our own minds, not how media or society defines them. Take a deep breath and persevere.
I want to be healthy and happy and if I want to eat a cookie as a treat, I will. No pressure to conform. What I’m trying to say, is that there are struggles in life and we all encounter them, but stay strong. You are worth it, we are all worth it. Start to live the way you want to and not by everyone else’s definition.
Had to end with a little humor. 🙂 Recycled but classic.
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” – The Help