Body Expectations vs Reality

Emma Riley, Staff Writer

For the longest time, people’s bodies have been an insecurity for them, both male and female. Body issues should be a thing of the past. We have curvy models and multi-race and shapely Barbies.

In an article by Bradley University, they talk about photo manipulation, beauty standards and weight loss and plastic surgery. These are serious issues that need to be talked about.

One edited photo was of Katie Couric, a news editor for CBS. The photo made her look younger and thinner. According to Bradley University “ Such practices contribute to body dissatisfaction among American women.”

One problem a lot of people face is weight. Every size is beautiful, as long as it’s healthy. Whether you’re an XS or an XL, you are perfect the way you are. Eating disorders go hand and hand with this insecurity. If you think you are too large you might become anorexic. If you think you’re too skinny, or suffer from stress, you might overeat, causing a binge eating disorder. Toxic comments from bullies like “eat a burger” or “ go for a run” trick you into thinking you aren’t good enough; but you are.

Skin tone can also be someone’s insecurity. In some countries, levels of skin pigmentation are considered more beautiful than others. In Japan, pale skin is more preferable, but in America, most people wish they were tan. In the US, when tan people are all around, and ads for spray tans are being shoved in our faces, it’s hard to resist. There is nothing wrong with getting a spray tan, but you should never feel pressured to change yourself for other people.

I’m sure everyone has at least one thing about their body that they would want to change. Whether it be your legs, hair, or even the color of your eyes. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that body issues most often stem from peers and media.

Beauty comes in all different forms, but social media can make it seem like there is only one definition of beauty. Women with flat stomachs, tans, clear skin and curves. Not everyone looks like that, and not everyone should. Men that are 6’2 and have rock-hard abs and a sharp jawline aren’t all that’s out there. And it shouldn’t be the expectation. Besides, many magazines and social media posts utilize filters and photoshop.

Have you ever met a person that exudes so much confidence and positivity that you want to hang around them all the time? That’s true beauty—confidence and happiness. And it doesn’t matter what the exterior of that package looks like.

People who judge you based on appearance aren’t getting to know the person inside. Most of them don’t know you for you, and are just saying that because they think it’s funny. Or in some cases, this might sound cheesy but, they’re jealous.

The world needs change.There are a lot of things that society needs to improve on. Body expectations are one of them. Brands like Michael Kors and Anna Sui have adopted the plus-sized model idea. Although they consider a size 10 or 12 to be a plus-sized model. Would you be surprised to hear that the average sized American woman is a 12? Victoria Beckham created a clothing line at Target that sold out. Even though the designer is smaller than the average woman, she chose to create fashion for sizes zero to 24, so everyone could look beautiful.

Some things to remember when you begin the road to loving yourself are to listen to your body. When you’re hungry, eat, and when you aren’t, don’t. Don’t listen to what other people tell you is beautiful, unless they say it’s you. No matter if you are small or tall, curvy or lean, you should and do fit in with the rest of the world, despite certain people and brands expectations.

If you feel your self-opinion is harming your daily happiness—causing you to restrict or increase your calories, over exercise or never exercise at all or try to be something you aren’t—take the first step and tell someone. Teachers and counselors all have training in how to help, and they can point you in the direction of a healthier path.

If it’s increasingly getting worse, contact an association like the NEDA or National Eating Disorder Association.

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