An inspirational essay on body image from someone who has been through recovery

You were not born wishing you could change that one feature of yourself, you were not born pulling, tugging, scratching at your skin, longing to climb out of your body. Nor were you born destructively comparing yourself to other or concealing, hiding or correcting your imperfections. You were not born religiously putting yourself down every time you glance in the mirror. But if we were not born like that, how is that is what we have become?

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder but if so, why has the society we have grown up in ingrained into us what beauty is? Why has society become our most influential beholder?

A beholder that displays a variation of body types so poorly. A beholder who shames and discriminates. A beholder who made me grow up thinking I wasn’t beautiful as I didn’t look like our beholders girl, thinking because I wasn’t a size six I wasn’t beautiful, thinking I was ugly because my skin was less than clear, thinking that the only way I would be beautiful was if I looked the way our number one beholder dictated.

And I grew up not being the only one. A New Zealand study showed that one in ten men are unhappy with their bodies, three-quarters of young women (75.5%) and nearly a half of young men (42.3%) are worried about gaining weight. Over a third of young women (33.7%), and a quarter of young men (24.3%) reported having been teased by other young people about their weight.

I don’t blame us for feeling insecure, ugly and worthless considering what our number one beholder has brainwashed us into thinking.
Beauty is; thigh gaps and protruding hips OR curves in all the right places. Long legs, flat stomachs, photoshopped flawless skin. Beauty is detox teas, waist trainers, skipped meals, c ya later cellulite cream and drop 20kg’s in a week pills. Beauty is steroids and supplements, v-lines and abs, clear skin, jaw-lines, pulled muscles from too heavy weights.

Our beholder’s definition of beauty is unattainable, unhealthy, unrealistic and unmanageable. And that stereotype is destroying us one teenager at a time.

And the time is ticking. So here are five reasons to not be the next teenage victim of our of beholders brainwashing.

According to our number one beholder fat is the biggest f word. Since when was fat the worst thing you could be? You could be selfish and narcissistic and treat people terribly but at least you’re not fat. If someone calls themselves fat everyone is quick to jump in and reassure them that they’re are not. Why is it then that when someone says they are skinny no one objects? Skinny, fat, tall, short, are all just adjectives to describe a person’s body. A person’s body of uniqueness, health and love. A body that can fight off sickness, that can sprint you over the finish line, or walk you down the Isle. Your body grows and adapts to your height in a way that keeps you healthy. Everyone has a different height and build and nobody will ever look identical to you, which is pretty special. Our beholder’s portrayal of fat and weight has had a huge negative impact on us. Despite times may be changing, there is still negative judgement, labels, and separation. The modelling industries attempt at inclusiveness acts almost as an oxymoron as they say they are including broader sizes yet label them separately, thus brainwashing us into believing that they are different and should always be separated. That if you’re larger than a Victoria’s Secret or Calvin Klein model your beauty is different and they will never forget to remind you that.

Number two. Having any normal body attributes are out of the equation. Pimples? Cellulite? Lower belly? Get rid of it. It’s troubling to believe that we are brainwashed into thinking completely normal body attributes are imperfections. Why is our number one beholder making us feel insecure about a part of us that is natural? Pimples. Every teenager will get them. It’s puberty, a part of growing up and the only reasons it’s not shown is because it’s either covered in makeup, treated with expensive products or photoshopped out. Cellulite. 90% of women have it. Even people with a very low-fat percentage, so it astounds me why it has been photoshopped away, hidden, judged or removed.

Number three. Our beholder profits from our self-doubt, Literally. Your insecurities are their passport to profit. Our beholder makes us insecure about our bodies and then sells us products to “fix” these insecurities. Waist trainers, detox teas, weight loss pills, cellulite cream, hair growth cream, hair reduction cream, and steroids, the list goes on. For starters, these products are very expensive and harmful considering what they are fixing never needed to be fixed in the first place.

Number four. Beauty is skin deep. A superficial view of beauty is so obsessed about that if you are beautiful on the outside “what’s on the inside” no longer matters. Or in reverse, if you are not beautiful according to our number one beholder despite having an amazing personality it still does not make up for your lack of “beauty”. Our role models are no longer people we want to be but people we want to look like. If I asked you who you thought the most beautiful or handsome person in the world was who would you say? Kendall Jenner, Emma Watson, Justin Bieber, Zac Efron? All of whom are handsome and beautiful but when I asked my mum of a different generation the same question, she spoke of people who had done good in the world. I asked my grandma, she said this; “My idea of beautiful people is not necessarily beautiful looking but beautiful within. Kind thoughtful, cheerful & generous” I think that shows how much damage this beholder shoving beauty expectations down our throat is doing and how appearance obsessed our generation has become. My grandma and mother were not raised among a social media frenzy so their definition of beauty is more than skin deep. It’s the compliments you give others, the big genuine smile that covers your face, the goals you set, the amazing things you do and your presence.

So please, cancel your waist trainer order, give your skin a break from all the makeup, skip the gym to spend time with your family, wear those shorts or that crop top and please do not become the next teenager to be destroyed.

Because number 5
Your beauty is not defined by our number one beholder.

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