"OMG, I'm so fat." "No, you're so skinny. I'm so fat." This has to be the most common conversation had by teenage girls. Every girl from the popular cheerleader to the clarinet player has had this conversation. Why is this? Do us girls really hate our bodies this much? I don't think we intentionally do, but we feel like we should. It's a physiological mindset that leads to self loathing and in some cases, eating disorders. The media over emphasizes the importance of body image. Every model who undergoes plastic surgery sends the message to young girls that the cost of perfection is worth physical pain. Every magazine that airbrushes a starlet tells teens that "yes this girl is beautiful, but she's not beautiful enough." It's no wonder we look in the mirror and only see flaws. The idea that girls need to be ninety pounds to be pretty is unrealistic and harmful. Even the girls who are happy with their body feel like they have to dislike something in order to not come off as conceited. The problem with this, is when you say you don't like something enough, you brainwash yourself into believing it. I for one, am happy with my body image. I realize if I looked any different I wouldn't be me. Some of my friends, however, don't have the same confidence and feel the need to diet in order to attain perfection. It's hard watching friends eat "food" and celebrate over losing an unnecessary amount of weight in a scary-short amount of time. The problem with dieting as a teen, is that your body is still developing and once you start dieting, you're stuck for life. The horrible thing is from hanging around friends and listening to their griping about their hips or whatever, I've become more aware of my "flaws". It's an infectious disease that can eat away at your self esteem. The only way to stop it is to realize your "flaws" make you unique. So next time you look in the mirror and think about what you would change about yourself, stop and realize that if you were any different you wouldn't be you. Stop spreading the disease.
April 26, 2010