• East Spotlight Newspaper

A Look in the Mirror

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

- Maya HaLevi

In modern day pop culture, with reminders widely dispersed throughout the media, we are taught that the size and shape of our bodies is what defines us. We are taught that if we are over a certain number on the scale we deserve less, and we assume that we are worthless because we don’t fit society's expectation of what a “perfect body” should look like.

In my opinion, this restrictive diet culture has done more harm than good. It teaches us to categorize certain foods as “good” and “bad,” which, majority of the time, leads to eating disorders. We have normalized eating salads for three meals a day, when we nourish ourselves with anything other than that (ex.carbs or sugar) we automatically assume we have done something wrong. We often forget that our body needs certain foods to function.

Most of us want to change the way we look to please others, but the truth is that you can’t hate yourself into someone you love. Believe me, I have spent my whole life trying, and it doesn't work, so let me spare you the time and give you some advice. We live in a world where hating yourself is more socially acceptable than finding a way to accept the body you were given. So, I encourage you to find a way to work from the inside out and work with your body, not against it. Our body is on our team, so we need to stop trying to convince ourselves that it's not.

According to WCNC.com, 94% of women have been body shamed before the age of 14. It's hard to comprehend that little girls have experienced something so awful before they have even entered high school. I wish I could tell them it gets better; I wish I could tell them it gets easier. We are told that people bring down others because they are insecure, and even though this is somewhat true, we need to stop coming up with excuses as to why body shaming someone is okay. We accept comments and hate towards our bodies because we feel we are not enough, and we don’t deserve to be treated and talked to with kindness.

Self respect is a big part of self acceptance and self love. In order to feel some kind of gratitude for your body, you have to believe you are lovable and good enough. Social media will probably always be your biggest bully. The worst thing about this generation is our addiction and constant need for validation from people on the internet. We edit our pictures before we post on Instagram so nobody will see our imperfections, however, our imperfections are what make us perfect. Take back the power you’ve let other people take from you because after all, the best weight you can lose is other people's opinions. I am not going to tell you that you have to love your body or that it’s easy trying to, because it’s not, but what I do know is that life is too short to spend another day at war with yourself. I encourage you to find some kind of middle ground and start building a relationship with yourself, and I can promise you that once you learn to embrace the beautiful, one of a kind body you were given, you will feel an immense amount of weight come off of your shoulders.

So I'll leave you with this: One day it just clicks. You realize what's important and what isn’t. You learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you've come, and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover. You smile because you are truly proud of the person you've fought to become .Be proud of yourself, be kind to yourself and continue fighting to become the best version of yourself. Let go of everything that weighs you down.

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