the body issue question

November 1, 2010
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Welcome! You have now officially entered the brain of a 17 year old girl. To your left, carefree childhood memories when life was simple and her most difficult decision was whether to use the blue or the green crayon for Barbie’s dress in her coloring book. Next, you see her accomplishments and proudest moments, followed by her favorite music and thoughts of friends, boys and school. Now we’re dead center. A part so expansive it had to be divided into sections. This is where storms of insecurities rise and faults lie. The part we’ll be focusing on for now is the section where body issues and health come into play.

The questions swarm like bees and they seem never ending. How many calories are in this? Why am I so fat? I haven’t had anything to eat today so it’s fine if I have a pint of Ben & Jerry’s right? Why can’t I look like her? What’s your secret? Why can’t I be skinny like that? The constant eat this, not that, don’t eat at all or just throw it up echoes through the minds of most teenage girls.

Throughout my four years of high school I’ve witnessed body issues at their highest and lowest points. My group of friends contains practically every type of body issue you can think of. the health nut, the junk food princess, the workout-a-holic, the binge-eater, and the recovered anorexic. One common bond that links these girls together is the obsession and fear of food. I became used to the issues as a part of normal, everyday life until I took health Junior year.

My 11th grade Health teacher Mrs. Becker was the most influential person in my desire to study nutrition. Her knowledge of nutrition and the way she related it to real life health issues brought me to realize the self-destruction my friends were enduring. They would say they were trying to be “healthy”, but to them “healthy” just meant skinny. In reality what they were doing to themselves wasn’t healthy at all. Ms. Becker’s health class made me think differently and view health in a whole new light. What if it were possible to teach these girls what healthy really was? What if we could show girls that they‘re beautiful the way they are?

I’ve become almost obsessed with nutrition over the past year. It has motivated me to want to make and difference. In learning how food works and helps you’re body, I can reveal to others that food can be the superhero instead of the evil villain. My life experiences have helped me reach the realization that body issues will always be present in the minds of teenage girls. Everyone has crazy hectic lives and food choices shouldn’t have to add to the stress, people should be able to have fun with food and enjoy it instead of fearing it. Let’s change the storm of insecurities into a long life of self-confidence and healthy choices.





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