If no one else is going to speak, then I will, because this problem is damaging the health and happiness of so many people, and there needs more awareness about what the expectations of our society is creating for women of all ages.
Our society keeps telling girls and women what they should and shouldn’t be. What has caused the most problems in my life is “being told” what I should look like. No, I was never directly told that I need to be tall and thin, but looking at magazines, watching diet commercials one after another on T.V., and being made fun of for how I look made the message pretty clear to me.
At the beginning of eighth grade, I began dieting. I told myself that I would do it for a certain amount of time, but I truly was never satisfied. I no longer looked at an apple as an apple; in my brain it was simply “70 calories”, and peanut butter was thought of as “190 calories” and a piece of cake was “500 calories” (so I shouldn’t even think about eating it… right?).
I came home from school, and I no longer did what I truly enjoyed. I began watching video after video about “what to eat in a day to lose weight” and “how to lose 20 pounds in a month”… etc. I loved becoming educated, and I imagined myself looking just as pretty as the girls in the videos.
After months of this being my routine, I was exhausted and depressed. I began to nap everyday after school, I was so unhappy during school because I was always having anxiety about food, and I spent my nights crying into my pillow, but I never knew why.
I thought that if I became anorexic, I would always be skinny guaranteed. So I was determined to keep starving myself. Well, anorexia actually kills people. The fact the society practically promotes others to develop a deadly disease is sickening, and I felt so miserable to have been sucked into that.
After some time, I knew I needed help. Food was consuming my whole life, and it was all I thought about. I went to a dietitian, and she told me that I was tired because I wasn’t getting enough energy. Also, my brain was beginning to get slower because of the lack of energy I was receiving. She told me to stop dieting, which I doubted at first, because I didn’t feel satisfied with how I looked. Well, she mentioned that I might never feel satisfied if I continue down this path, and lucky for me I was able to escape before I was too far down the path to come back. But, some people don’t reach out for help, and it becomes harder and harder to cure their obsession which can turn into an illness.
This is why we need to put a stop to this. We have to stop telling girls that they aren’t enough. We need to recognize how everyone is amazing the way they are, and we should not brain-wash them into thinking they are not. People are literally dying because of what our society says is “good” and “bad”. We all have to learn how to just rock what we have, and feel confident being ourselves. We must stop striving to be someone else, and love ourselves. Do good things for your body because you love it. Learn to stop hating your body. It’s literally the only one you have. If you find yourself down the path of hurting yourself, get help immediately because it could eventually get out of hand. It’s not worth it.
Why did I want to become skinnier? To be happier. But was I happier? Would I ever be happier? Would it ever be enough to satisfy others, or even myself? No, it wouldn’t if I continued. But, it will now…as I continue to learn to love myself from the inside out.