Beauty standards within society

As teens many of us struggle with our body image and self confidence, society constantly bombards us with their beauty standards and what they portray as the ‘perfect body’. As young teens we are vulnerable. Most of us are only just discovering who we are and who we want to be, but we are constantly exposed to celebs and models who we look up to as role models . We see these perfect pictures and begin to question ourselves and why we don’t look like them? but what we forget is that nobody is perfect. They too aren’t perfect, and without all the makeup, photoshop and potential plastic surgery they too look just like you and I !!

THE PERFECT BODY… Well, what is the perfect body? What comes to mind when you hear that? Perhaps a skinny figure or someone who is ‘slim thick’ or if you’re a guy, perhaps someone who has abs and is strong. But why do we think these people are perfect and why are they the people who we look up too? Well, it’s because society has painted an image in our minds that we do not look like these people, and something is wrong with us. All these celebs and models fit within the beauty standards and young people now think they have to be like them. But why should we let ourselves be brain washed by society? We should be able to look in the mirror and be happy with the person that we are! After all perfection is an illusion painted to hide our deepest insecurities…

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH BODY POSITVITY AND SELF ESTEEM For many years I’ve struggled with loving myself and the way I look . When I was 10 I was told I was overweight an needed to make changes before I got drastically heavier. I was bullied by kids at school about my weight and even at home by my family members . My insecurities and self-esteem dropped dramatically at such a young age. I would see these models on the front page of magazines all slim and perfect, NONE of which were plus sized or had stretch marks like I did, so naturally I wished I was like them…. when I got older things got worse at 12 I started to diet , but eventually my self esteem dropped even lower to the extent I would only allow myself 500 calories a day . I lost weight but I wasn’t happy and I still didn’t have my ‘ideal body’, it was as though all my efforts were in vain. When I returned to school after the summer people congratulated me saying i looked skinnier and prettier, I was happy for a moment as i was getting more love and attention than I had ever had before. But as I got older I realised people will always make comments on your body and how you look no matter how much you change. So the best thing you can do is learn to love yourself . Now i’m 16, although i haven’t completely mastered loving myself (and their will always be days where I will struggle) I still am determined to take it one step at a time until I truly am happy with myself and who I am.

ADVICE ON LEARNING TO LOVE YOURSELF

  • Learn to accept who you are
  • Don’t aim to be skinny or an ideal body shape instead focus on being healthy!!!
  • Accept that there is no such thing as a perfect body
  • Respect and accept who you are
  • Be happy with who you are don’t change for anyone
  • Don’t force yourself into extreme dieting or harm your body
  • Don’t hate who you are

It’s important to recognise that it’s not our job to conform to the ways of society. Your insecurities don’t make you any less attractive, everyone is perfect the way they are. Next time you look in the mirror, don’t analyse every imperfection you may have instead be happy with the way you look, we tend to criticise ourselves too much, and this damages our self-esteem, the people who may call you names or bully you, they too have insecurities of their own. This is why self love plays such an important role.

YOU ARE STRONG, YOU ARE AMAZING AND YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!

-Sairah

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