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Searching For Perfection

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Body image seems to be the number one issue on most girls’ minds these days. No matter how much meals they skip or diets they try, the results in the mirror are never good enough for them. The way their body looks can bring girls to tears. And, these tears can lead to more drastic actions like depression or eating disorders, like anorexia. If someone has never dealt with the pain of looking into the mirror and just feeling utterly disgusted with what they see, then it’d be hard for them to understand why these girls make it such a big deal. But, having personally seen my own friends stare in the mirror for long periods of time and critiquing every inch of their body, it’s just plain frightening. In these moments, nothing is clearer to me than this is seriously wrong. It’s not normal, it’s not healthy, and it’s not something that should be ignored. But, try telling that to these girls. They don’t care they just want to be beautiful.

Instead of focusing on having the perfect body, girls need to start focusing on being healthy. Starving oneself is killing the body, but overeating is no better. Girls need to stay out of the extremes and instead find some kind of balance. Exercising a few times a week and eating foods with nutritious value is a start. Once one can begin the journey to becoming healthy and in shape then they will start to feel better about themselves. What is there not to love about a healthy body? And, just because you’re healthy doesn’t mean you’ll have the perfect body, but no one’s body can be perfect anyway.

What is the perfect body? The first thing most girls will think of is a model or actress that the media portrays as being perfect. Truthfully, even these beautiful women deal with body image issues. Everyone has flaws, and the ones who usually find them is themselves. So, even though you may think that model is flawless, they know they aren’t. But that doesn’t always stop one from loving their body, and it shouldn’t. Your flaws are what make your body unique and beautiful. Girls need to start loving what they see in the mirror and stop yearning for perfection. The perfect body doesn’t even exist.

When there is a problem with your body, it makes it hard to love it. Being overweight can be hard to deal with, and most overweight girls won’t feel pretty. In reality they are pretty, but their overweight problem is making that hard to see. Flaws will stick out more than anything else. When your flaws become a health issue though, something needs to be done. The best thing to do when overweight would be to talk with a doctor or medical expert about the problem. They will give you the best advice on what to do. The next step would be to actually follow their advice. This can be the hardest part. Changing your lifestyle isn’t an easy task. It will take hard work and dedication to start turning your life around. Being overweight isn’t the only body problem girls can face. All the above can also apply to girls with other eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia. Seeking help should always come to mind when there is a body issue. Not all advice given will be useful or right. That is why obtaining expert help is the best choice.

The remaining question is what exactly causes these girls to care so much about what their body looks like. The real answer goes deeper than they just want to be perfect or look good. I believe the reason is that the majority of girls are pressured by what others think of them. They aren’t just being paranoid either. Its human nature to judge people and the easiest way to judge someone is by the way they look. Looks are the first things that are noticed by someone else, because they are simply there in plain eye sight. None of this makes it right to judge someone based solely off of their looks. But, that doesn’t stop a good number of people from doing it anyway, which brings us back to the pressure on girls to look good. No one wants to be secluded because their looks don’t fit another’s standards. For some girls the only choice they think they have is to fix all their imperfections so they can impress others. In some cases, the stress can be taken to the point where the girl just can’t seem to feel beautiful at all, no matter what they do to change their appearance. This is when the major issue with body image comes into play.

Just like everyone’s figure, the reason for striving for perfection isn’t the same either. This means all that was previously stated above may not apply for all girls. Another reason tends to come up when the girl is struggling with life’s problems. Maybe they just went or are going through a tragic, challenging point in their life. When everything seems to be falling apart, trying to reach perfection in appearance could seem like the only thing left to do. There is the hope that if you can look the part of being perfect then you can hide the fact that something is wrong. It’s almost as if these girls want to hide their problems, and looking as if nothing is wrong and everything is perfect may seem like the way to do so. This is a more complex reason that is harder for an outsider to understand. It all makes sense in the girls’ heads though.

Anorexia is the 3rd most common clinic illness among adolescents. Fifty percent of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight. Eighty percent of thirteen-year-olds have attempted to lose weight. Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. An estimated eight million Americans have an eating disorder. All these shocking statistics from the South Carolina Department of Mental Health website are proof that we have a major issue here with body image. It is an issue that all starts with a young girl looking into a mirror with critical eyes, wishing to change everything they see in their reflection.





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margierose This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 12, 2010 at 6:38 pm
At first, reading this I thought you were over reacting. Then, as I scrolled down, I saw an add claiming "lose inches off your stomach!" and I realized that your right. The media needs to change. 
 
fair246 said...
Apr. 12, 2010 at 5:42 pm
Holy c***.  I agree with everything you said in this. 
 
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