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How I Keep European Beauty Standards From Defining Me



A young woman with long dark hair wearing a dark purple jacket with a white top, standing in front of a tan wall.
Hempstead, NY

I remember my freshman year of college. I tried out for the dance team. Keep in mind I had no idea what I was doing. I remember I was the only ‘thick girl’ or normal-sized girl out there and those girls were just so skinny as a toothpick.

To make a long story short, I did not make the dance team. I didn’t beat myself or anything but I knew why they didn’t choose me to become part of the team.

I would have problems with my stomach, of course. I think everyone has a problem with their stomachs.

I wouldn’t say I’ve suffered from these types of insecurities, but I know a lot of people who have. I wouldn’t say I suffer from these types of issues because I am the type of person who won’t let my issues define who I am.

Yeah, I struggled a little bit with my weight and how I looked but thanks to family and friends helping me realize that nothing is wrong with me. I blame social media for not letting people realize that they are just fine with the way they look.

I would have friends that would be on social media like Instagram and they would compare their bodies to the models. I would always tell them, ‘It is okay if you don’t look like them. They probably don’t look like that themselves.’

Not just friends but my colleagues and people around me as well would always compare their bodies to the next person. They would say things like: ‘I wish my stomach looked like that.’ or ‘Body goals.’

Why isn’t your body ‘body goals?’ Whatever happened with being yourself? Being different?

I just choose to not let European beauty standards define me. I would advise everyone to be themselves the best way they can.

I know it is easier said than done but I promise once people start accepting themselves, their lives will be much better.

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