The Perfect Obsession

October 14, 2012
By Anonymous

I believe that society’s idea of perfection and beauty is killing us as a people. This idea is like a virus. I’ve seen it way too many times: this perfected ideal of the human body that is nearly impossible to attain. Actors, celebrities, advertisements, models... Everywhere there are things that tell us that we’re just not good enough. All they do is spread the disease. Ever since I was very small I was taught by the media what I should look like, who I should be. It all started when I was about seven years old. I watched the Disney Channel and noticed that all of the pretty girls on the shows were blonde. Being naturally dark haired, I begged my mother to dye my hair the same platinum color that everyone else seemed to have. She, of course, said no and it was forgotten... but the seed of conformity stuck with me even before I knew what it truly was.

Slowly, the longing for acceptance from society grew and was placed into my non-western-obviously-a-foreigner-ish features when I was around ten. My skin was a deep chestnut tan, my hair plain jet black and impossibly straight. My eyes were smaller than the other kids’, and lacked the crease above them that everyone else had, my nose bridge not as high. Then I realized how different I was from the other kids. I was the only Asian kid in this middle-class white community! I desperately wanted to stop being different, wanted these things that all the Caucasian kids had. I begged my parents for a hair dye, a nose job, and various other plastic surgeries but was never satisfied with their ever-present answer: “No.” I wanted to know why “No.” was their only answer. I tried to rationalize with them. “Look at the lady in this magazine! She’s so pretty! Like a Barbie!”
Because of that lady in the magazine, I would never be protected in that childish naiveté. I would never feel good enough again. The disease was taking more of my brain. My endeavor for beauty never died...

In a recent year, my insecurity became a sick obsession. The syndrome had finally won. It had taken all of me. I saw all these models, super thin, porcelain skinned, ideal, and I needed to be that. I saw celebrities with wide eyes, thin legs, microscopic waists and snow white skin. I started to let my body starve, the sickness was eating me away. I’d exercise for hours while eating less than 300 calories, and lighten my skin with anything I could find. I felt myself fading but simply put it off as too much work. I found so many pro-anorexic blogs with quotes that kept me fighting for that unattainable splendor that was contained in protruding bones. I still remember what my favorites were from that blog before its shutdown. “That’s not your stomach growling, sweetie! It’s your stomach telling you you’re winning!” “Sometimes I am hungry. I’m always hungry. But when I don’t eat I feel good. Pure...empty and it’s wonderful I’m almost so powerful I could fly.” “Bones are pure and clean and beautiful... Why ruin them with fat and muscle?” I wanted a body with sharp angles opposed to traditional ideas of soft graceful curves. I looked up thinspiration to keep myself motivated. Google flooded me with so many images of nineteen inch waists, gaunt legs, sharp edges, and protruding ribs. Soon I got dizzy, weak and sick. My heart rate dropped to 48 bpm, 40 being the point where the heart is likely to stop. Then I realized, while I was laying there feeling like I was dying, “Maybe... just maybe society is wrong...there is beauty in everything...”

I want us to create a world together where all forms of beauty are accepted. I want the next generations to grow up in a world where they see that all sizes, shapes, colors, types are lovely and perfect the way they are and nothing, not even society can change that. We can’t let them just tell us what to be, take away our feelings of self-worth anymore! We are all beautiful.

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