My struggles with negative body stereotypes

My struggles with negative body stereotypes By:Sidney nash

Sidney Nash , Videographer

 We live in a world where young girls are told that the only way they can be seen as beautiful is if they are skinny. In my mind it is very much an unfair idea that girls are told that these photoshopped women are what they should look like. I have had problems over the years not liking how I look and skipping meals so I would fit into the stereotype that people wanted from me, but in the end I have not achieved that ideal body.  However, in the real world there is not a perfect body for everyone. Body standards for women have been around for hundreds of years but they have not all been bad. Some were good like the Greeks thought that unibrows were very beautiful on women.  During the Renaissance, women were supposed to be curvy so it shows that they were healthy and well-fed. But as time has gone by women have been told being skinny is what they should be.  For which was when women started to wear corsets to have a smaller waist to fit what people wanted them to have. We have changed a bit from that time to be more body positive but not much has changed.  People are still told that they are not good enough to be pretty or that they should slim down to be seen as important. 

Growing up I never felt like I looked like everyone else, I was always a little bigger than most girls my age. I just felt like I looked like a marshmallow or the fact that I was taller than most people my age. Most of my friends when I was little were skinnier than me and that really sucked because I could never fit into their clothes when we hung out.

As I got to middle school, I got taller and lost some weight and some of it went to my hips and butt. That still did not make me feel better about myself since lots of girls were skinny and could wear these cute outfits that I would never dare to wear out of my house for fear that people would just stare at me. By the time I was in high school, I started to eat a bit less. It started with not eating breakfast and just drinking coffee, then it went to not eating lunch or maybe just eating a Clif Bar as my lunch. It got to the point where my first meal would be around two o’clock in the afternoon or dinner. Last year it got a bit better but still was not good. Soon my family could tell I was a lot skinnier than I was the year before. The first time they saw it, I was in my kitchen filling up my water bottle and my dad looked at me and said, “wow your waist is small.” I remember just thinking about how a year ago that would have made me so happy, but in that moment it just made me think about how my not eating made me get smaller to the point where my dad noticed it. He barely noticed anything about me but the fact he noticed that scared me. I am still struggling with not eating, but I am trying to get to a point where I am always happy to eat three times a day or more. There are days where my first meal is at 4:00 or 7:00pm or other days my first meal is at 7:00am, it just depends on my mood. My biggest struggle is just eating in the morning before school. Maybe the fact that we are going to be online for two weeks will help with the fact that food will always be around me so I will eat more during the day.  We just will have to wait to see. To give you an overview about how eating is going for me is that if I am hungry I am going to eat no matter the time because if I don’t eat then there is no way I am eating for a few more hours. Another thing is that it doesn’t matter what kinds of food I eat as long as I eat. If I have pizza for breakfast it doesn’t matter because I ate before 11:00am. Beauty is difficult to fit into a box since everyone has a different idea of it. According to Google, the definition of beauty is “a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.” When thinking about this, what I think is beautiful may not be the same as what you think is beautiful, so it is really hard to compare beauty which has never stopped people from comparing peoples’ beauty. I never really thought I was pretty or beautiful as I was growing up because what I thought was beautiful was someone who was skinny and blonde. When looking at myself, I never saw the beauty that my family and friends said that I had. My self-worth has never really been there. Sometimes I will look into the mirror and see myself as this beautiful girl, and some days I don’t see that.

     My final words to everyone who is reading this is who cares what you look like since to some people you are beautiful and amazing.  It has taken me a few years to finally see that I am beautiful just the way I am and nobody can tell me differently. There will be days where that is not the case but there are a lot of days where that is right.  So don’t let the media and people around change who you are.  Every part of you is amazing no matter where you come from or what you look like nobody should tell you how to look or what you should act like. I am coming to the point in my life that I am amazing and I have a boyfriend that loves the way that I look and he wouldn’t change a thing about me. I also have friends who have shown me that no matter who I am I beautiful and deserve love.So I want to give a shout out to my friend Margo Thank you girly your amazing.