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Body Image

How Accepting Myself Helped Me Overcome My Insecurities

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A young lady with dark hair orders a rainbow milkshake at a restaurant.
Long Island, NY

When I was younger, it was a lot harder to deal with body image issues.  I was always looking up to older people that looked better than I did.

Thankfully as I got older, I’ve just started to accept myself more. But still, everyone has insecurities.

Like, I’d say I’m insecure about my stomach. I feel like it’s too squishy and not flat enough.

There are days where it sucks, and you just feel like you hate yourself, but overall it’s just like ‘this is who I am’ so, why worry about it?

I know I’m never going to look like a model but it doesn’t matter!

I think the media plays a very big role in the creation of people’s body image because it makes you feel like you have to look a certain way, even though you don’t. You see all these thin girls in the magazines, and all the women they photoshop to look a certain way, and you feel like you have to look like that, even though it’s not real.

It just kind of makes you feel bad because you still feel like that’s the ideal image you’re striving towards.

Going to the gym has been something I’ve used to cope with my body image issues because it just makes you feel really good. Now, I’m more focused on whether or not I’m healthy, as opposed to what I look like.

Everyone is going to go through a period where they feel like they’re ugly, or fat, or not as pretty as another person, but people need to understand that nobody is perfect.

While you’re upset and comparing yourself to someone, there’s someone else out there that’s wishing they could look like you. Everyone is pretty in their own way. Everyone has their own thing that makes them special. And skinny does not equal pretty.

You can be skinny, or thicker or any size and still be pretty. It’s such a misconception that you have to be thin to be attractive, and it’s just totally not true.

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Body Image

Sing for the World: Students Honor the Loss of Their Beloved Friend

Emily Bevacqua

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Kyle, posing in front of the camera in a black shirt while holding up a portable keyboard.

Loss is all around the world today; it’s inevitable. For Kyle Robinson, it came too soon. To remember the multi-talented, fun spirit of Kyle, Victoria Christie and her friends came together to create a foundation in his name. 

With the hopes of creating a scholarship for students interested in being a part of the music industry, Tori’s story inspires all that good things can come out of tragedy. The heart of the foundation is to provide opportunities for those who want to create music and go to school to study it so they can one day make music for the world to hear.

Music is food for the soul. For some people, it is all they have to turn to. For others, it’s how they express themselves. For Victoria Christie, it’s her passion and her future. 

As a senior Music Industry voice major at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, Tori has spent the last three years of her life learning how to engineer and produce songs in the studio and what it is like to work for a publishing company.

The College of Saint Rose’s Music Industry program allows students to prepare themselves for the fast-paced, competitive world of music. Being accepted into this program provides students a tight-knit community where everyone can connect through their devotion to music.

Tori and her friends were lucky to have Kyle Robinson in their year. Kyle, also a Music Industry voice major, was a passionate musician. He was in a couple of bands, one called Pacer Test and the other named Waitress, in both of which he played instruments and sang. 

Kyle had many aspirations to perform, but also really enjoyed producing music. He helped anyone who needed further instruction and produced many rising musicians’ songs, including Grace Damon’s “Through the Night” and “Honey.”

Kyle, performing at a venue with a band, singing into the microphone, person playing bass in the background.
Source:

Unexpectedly, on his way back to Albany after returning home for the Fourth of July, Kyle was in a tragic car accident that took his life. 

Those who knew Kyle found solace in the fact that they were not alone. “You would think that you and Kyle [were the only ones who] had something special,” Tori said. “Then hearing everyone [else] talk about Kyle, you realize that he really did have something special with everyone and everyone is feeling the same way.” 

Kyle was 21 years old and had his whole life ahead of him. For Tori and her friends, it is the first major loss they had experienced in their lives. Staying together and figuring out how to grieve is comforting during such a difficult time. “We are not the only ones going through it, and we don’t have to go through it alone,” Tori explained. “Even if we struggle, we struggle together, and we figure it out.”

Within the first week of Kyle’s passing, there was talk about starting a scholarship in Kyle’s name. Tori and her friends knew the family had asked for donations to their local high school instead of covering the cost of flowers at the service.

Someone then suggested the creation of a scholarship that people could donate to. Creating the scholarship was a collective decision because everyone wanted to keep Kyle’s spirit alive in some way.

“He was just that kind of person where even if you talked to him for two seconds, he made your day better,” Tori described. “He was the perfect balance of sarcastic and the funniest person you’ll ever meet but also very loving and respected [by] everyone.”

Kyle in a black shirt, balancing a keyboard on a persons back as they are bent over.
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Together, Tori and her friends are creating the Kyle Robinson Memorial Foundation. Currently, the group is in the paperwork process of setting it up. Their first major goal is to establish a fund for a scholarship that can give a substantial amount of money to someone who embodies Kyle’s characteristics and passion.

Their aim is to begin accepting donations in January 2021. While they are getting set up, those who are interested in receiving updates on the foundation can send an email to [email protected] to be put on an email list.

Although the process is not simple, creating the foundation is something that will help everyone heal. It provides a distraction from the pain they are feeling. It also keeps the group together, even if life separates them after graduation this year. Tori and her friends will not let grief consume them. Instead, they are making Kyle’s death mean something.

“I feel like Kyle’s spirit was the type of spirit that you really don’t want to live without, and so I think [this foundation] will help a lot of people and I hope it will.” 

The Kyle Robinson Memorial Foundation will provide future students the opportunity to pursue their passion for music even if it seems impossible. It will help a student pay to go to a university and get the best advantage they can in the music industry. And most importantly, to those who knew and loved Kyle, it will keep Kyle Robinson’s memory alive.

Tragic things happen and the world doesn’t seem fair, but I think good can come out of anything.”

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Body Image

How I Strive to Become a Better Version of Myself

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A girl standing and smiling in front of a blue wall wearing a white shirt and red headband.
Killingworth, CT

I’m most insecure about my stomach because every time I eat, I feel like it looks a lot bigger. It feels uncomfortable and looks weird to me, compared to the perfect bodies we see through the media, all day every day.

We are conditioned to believe that the standards we see in the media are what we should strive for in real life, no matter how unattainable they really are. This creates expectations that are extremely difficult to meet in people’s perspectives of themselves, but also in how they expect others to be or look like.

Social media makes us constantly compare ourselves to everyone. It makes us feel jealous and inferior to models that have perfectly thin bodies.

It starts to make us even feel worse about ourselves because of the way everyday people try to put out the best image of themselves as possible even if it’s fake like photoshopped or edited with an app.

Constantly seeing perfect people, living perfect lives, that people show off on social media, have an impact on the way people see themselves and others, and ultimately how they live their lives.

When my body is in better shape, I feel much more confident and my self-esteem is higher. But when I’m not in good shape, I feel a lot worse about myself.

When I make an effort to start eating better and working out regularly, I feel better not only physically, but mentally and emotionally in the way that I see myself. But during times where I’m not motivated about my health, I’m a lot more self-conscious and down on myself.

I wish I could just be light without having to worry about what I eat. At the end of the day, eating healthy and working out makes me feel better about myself, and it’s how I try to cope with my insecurities when I’m not feeling great about my body.

You should learn to love your body for your own self, and not because society stereotypically says you should.

You should not try to live your life trying to be someone you wish you could be, but rather strive to become a better version of your own self.

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Body Image

How I Improved My Perception of My Body

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A girl with dark hair, wearing a blue jacket and white shirt, sitting down, smiling
Monroe, CT

I think high school was where everyone started having insecurities. High school is a very challenging place for most people, including myself. I was taller than most of the girls at school so it was already difficult for me to fit in.

Thinking about it now, I always perceived myself as bigger than the other girls when really I wasn’t. I used to have insecurities with my legs and stomach. I thought I was just on the chubby side, but I was really just taller.

I just had no idea what my body was doing to me at the time. I’d just tell myself that I would just start being healthy and watch what I eat. I ended up not eating at all.

That spiraled out of control to the point where I ended up being anorexic. It just got out of control for the most part.

While I was going through that, I still thought I was bigger than other girls. When people talk about body image issues, it is always perceived as being overweight or eating too much.

Anorexia is not being talked about when it comes to these types of issues and I think it should be. I did end up going to therapy for about two years and that helped a lot.

My therapist was also a nutritionist, so she showed me what healthy things to eat without starving myself. She showed me I could eat and that I did not have to starve myself.

She also taught me to take better care of myself such as working out and meditating. I needed that more than anything.

We aren’t meant to look alike. It doesn’t really matter what you look like, but it matters how you feel about yourself. Your perception of your body comes first.

When I was growing up, social media wasn’t as popular as it is now. I would say social media definitely plays a huge role when it comes to body image issues and insecurities in general.

Seeing all these Instagram models showing their perfect bodies really takes a toll on young peoples’ body images.

Whether I gain weight or lose weight, it is okay at the end of the day because that’s not what’s important in life. What’s important is how I am to reach happiness in life.

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