I think that body image has affected me emotionally.
As we all know, since 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 everyone. That’s 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, ‘no, it starts with you.’
You have to say, ‘I love my body,’ and remind yourself that. But I think we are taught to nitpick everything about ourselves.
Your friends affect your body confidence as well. I have really great friends that push me up and say I look good, which makes me feel good.
Someone you genuinely care about telling you ‘you look really nice’ helps. Surround yourself with people who push you up.
There are also people surrounded by friends that push them down, and I think that really affects body image because you think if somebody else thinks it, it must be true.
To add on, I did research about this my junior year of high school. I wrote a 12-page paper about the representation of women in the advertising world, so the main thing is how people are photoshopped to look unrealistic. It’s a very important, present issue, and I think a lot needs to change to be where we should be.
Also, obviously, Instagram is a major part of that—posting yourself and a life that isn’t necessarily real, and more of girls comparing themselves to each other. It’s a big issue.
But I also think people don’t realize that companies are going in the right direction and that’s a really great thing. Aerie stopped retouching their ads, though they still choose certain types of girls.
Or even Eileen Fisher—it’s not a popular teenage brand because it’s more expensive, but they focus on these older women who are really living their lives and are smart and powerful; I think that’s really nice.
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.