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Body Image

How I Stopped Paying Attention to All My Flaws

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Young lady with brown hair wears a black hairband and multi colored bracelet on her wrist and two rings on her right hand, covers her face with hands.
Ithaca, NY

When I was younger, I used to starve myself. I felt like my body had to be smaller even though I was already small, to begin with.

I remember every summer, I would get in these huge arguments with my mom because I did not want to eat. I’d eventually give in because, you know, you have to eat to survive, but it was hard.

I’ve never really liked my hips. I think they’re rather wide; my mother always told me I have birthing hips. I wear a size 8, which is a little wider than I would like them to be.

Every girl has insecurities about their body. They could be the skinniest, hottest girl and they’re still going to see flaws in themselves. But as I got older, I stopped paying attention to the flaws and started seeing all of the good things about myself.

Like, I like how big my smile is. I think that even though my face is not exactly symmetrical, which is what people usually look for in attractiveness, my smile just seems to get people’s attention.

I think that the media has made it so there’s this certain appearance that everyone has to follow. But it’s all so fake!

I’m sure not all of the women we see with these skinny, perfect bodies are living happy lives. You need to think about what you value more: the opinions of other people or your happiness in your day to day life.

It’s important to separate yourself from everyone else. You have to stop comparing yourself because you are not like anyone else on the planet.

You are unique just like you are. Just the fact that you were born and given a body is significant.

Your body is not who you are. But your confidence? That’s who you are.

Your body is beautiful no matter what. I know it sounds cheesy, but I do believe in looking at what’s on the inside.

If somebody loves themselves, that stands out to me. I used to think being 130 pounds was too much, but now I realize that it’s healthy and I love my body entirely.

I overcame my body image issues by learning to not care what anyone else thinks because it’s my body. At the end of the day, nobody else is living in my body but myself and I came to terms with this at the end of my freshman year of college.

I realized that I need to love my body because it’s the only one I have and I’m the one that has to live with it every day. It shouldn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

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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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Body Image

How My Body Image Is Shaped by My Positive Mindset

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A young brunette girl wearing a dark long sleeved shirt smiling, while walking in nature.
New York

I think that body image has affected me emotionally. As we all know, the media portrays unrealistic bodies and women edited down until they aren’t really like real people. Young girls are affected and compare themselves to all those fake people. Even if they look at realistic photos as well, the fake ones stay in the back of their minds.I’ve done it too—looking in the mirror and pinpointing all of the things I hate about myself, but people say, ” data-lasso-id=”837″>yourself of that as often as you can. I think we are taught to nitpick everything about ourselves because society tells us to.

Your friends affect your body confidence as well. I have really great friends who boost my confidence and mindset by saying that I look good. They make me feel good about myself.

Someone you genuinely care about telling you, “you look really nice,” can help keep a positive mindset. Surround yourself with those people who boost you up.

There are also people surrounded by friends that push them down. I think that negativity affects body image because you think that if somebody else thinks it, it must be true.

To add on, I did research about this in my junior year of high school. I wrote a 12-page paper about the representation of women in the advertising world. The main thing causing such negative body image is how people are photoshopped to look unrealistic on social media. It’s an important issue and I think a lot needs to change to be where we should be in the future.

Instagram is a major part of the problem. Posting photos of yourself and photos portraying a life that isn’t necessarily real is causing others to compare themselves to you. It is this never-ending cycle of girls comparing themselves to each other. It’s a big issue.

Though there has been a lot of ignorance on the subject, I think people don’t realize that companies are going in the right direction. For example, the company called Aerie, stopped retouching their ads, though they still choose certain types of girls.

Even the company, Eileen Fisher, focuses on older women who are living their lives with success and are smart and powerful; I think that’s really nice to see.

Teach yourself every day to look in the mirror and say ‘this is what I love about my body’ rather than this is what I don’t like about it.’

My favorite part of my body is my arms, and I’ve always really liked having freckles. I used to have more of them and I actually miss them. My arms also have my freckles, so I think that’s why I like them.

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