Overcoming Negative Body Image

By , Orient , OH

Every year, I dread going to the doctor for my yearly check up, not because I’m scared of shots, but it’s more because attention is always brought to my weight. The smell of the doctor's office always makes me nervous and self conscious. I try not to think about how different I am from the other kids in my grade but it is hard because I find that most of the time, I’m not comfortable with myself. I want to say that I don’t worry about what others think of me but that would be a lie. It is hard to accept my body just because of the standards that society has set for teens, girls in specific. I prefer baggy/ “boy” t-shirts and jeans or shorts over dresses. I love the way the loose fabric on a t-shirt hangs upon my body, that society has said is misshapen. I hate the way that dresses highlight the parts of myself that I hate, the parts that are supposed to be highlighted with the “perfect” female body. I’m not saying I’m not perfect in my own eyes, but to society I do not meet standards.


I try very hard to be positive and confident but with all the labels and separation of clothing, I have to acknowledge my difference in size from other girls my age. Instead of getting to shop in the “normal” section at a clothing store, I have to shop in the plus size section. When I go shopping I feel as if all eyes are on me, judging every move I make. Most of the time that kind of stuff doesn’t bother me but sometimes it makes me feel very self conscious and bad about my size and appearance.


I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t think about how I look but I will say that when I get down about it, I just try to accept it. I try to fix myself and my appearance but the only thing I do is try to fix something that in someone else’s eyes might not actually be broken. Even if I find my appearance unattractive, there is someone out there who will like me for who I am, not for who I wish I was. There is no use in me stressing over something such as body image because body expectations are made up by society. I shouldn’t get down on myself because I don’t fit a perfect mold, I am perfect and special in my own unique ways. Instead of looking in the mirror and seeing an ugly plus size person, I look in the mirror and see myself, no negative labels, just my beautiful, uniquely perfect self.


I am perfect not because I fit into a mold created by society but because I accept my flaws and I do my best to embrace them. I might not embrace my flaws through tight clothes, but I try to embrace them through the kind of clothes that I wear. I wear vans, skinny jeans and t-shirts not because that’s what society says I should wear but because that’s the style that I like and think looks best on me. I don’t wear dresses because I’m not comfortable in dresses and that would be just another way of me trying to fit into a mold that isn’t me. Dresses are not my thing but jeans, vans and t-shirts are.


I defeat negative body image by being as positive as I possibly can and wear what I feel comfortable in, rather than attempting to follow the standards of what girls are supposed to wear. I don’t walk into the mall looking for clothes that will please society, I go in looking for clothes that will please me. I accept myself and I work to improve myself for me and not for society. I try to improve things that are actually causing me harm in my life instead of trying to fix little pointless things.

 

One of the biggest things that I remind myself of is not to listen to what other people say and not let other people dictate my life. There are times when I feel like I’m drowning in self consciousness. When this happens I always tell myself to live my life the way I want to live it, I need to be confident with who I am. I need to produce my own confidence not solely rely on gaining confidence from other people. I am very happy with my life and I’m still gaining confidence to this day. Some of the things that I’ve done around school to help me gain confidence are classes such as speech class and choir. The most effective class has been choir, being able to share something as personal as my singing has helped me tremendously. As long as I am doing what I love and enjoying my life it doesn’t matter what others think. People will not always approve and that is okay.






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