Image is everything in our society, especially body image. Even though many people say they don’t like to judge people on their outside appearance, we all do it even if it’s subconsciously. A person’s image is the first thing that you see when you meet and the media has taught us that image is critical. But at this point our focus as a society on body image is damaging. There is such a huge pressure to have the right image that it’s affecting health.
Girls are becoming more and more aware of image at a younger age. Even though at 19 I’m not really that far out of being classified in the younger age group, I have still noticed that there is more attention on clothing brands and body image than when I was in elementary school. At a Taylor Swift concert a few years ago a friend and I were appalled at how snotty and catty elementary school girls behind us were being about the appearance of other concert attendees. When I was their age I was just excited when I was able to go to a concert, that in itself was enough to hold my focus for the entire night. IMAGE IS NOT THE PERSON!
Look at Demi Lovato, a person I admire so much. She is a beautiful person both inside and out but because of other people she secretly struggled with her image until the pressure was too much. She has turned her experience into an example for other girls and it’s truly inspiring. However, Demi is only one example of a problem that has touched the lives of many girls. I don’t think I can name one girl in my life, myself included, who hasn’t struggled with her body image in some way, shape or form because she’s felt that she can’t measure up to society’s standards. How often do we women tear ourselves apart to fit this image that the media says we should fit yet most women don’t. The messages don’t add up and the one that voices itself stronger is drowning out the message that girls and women should be listening to. Demi has certainly helped to bring a lot of attention to the problem but we as women need to all step forward and join hands to change the message about body image to what we want it to be. No more bullying because of how a person’s body looks, instead we should be embracing the very uniqueness of our different body types.
As women the only way to fix our problem is to remove it from our mentality and from the media. Change. We should be supporting one another instead of tearing each other down. We can only embrace our own image when we know that others like us embrace their own image. So stop stepping on the scale and checking your profile in the mirror and instead look at the person that you are inside. While physical appearances are what first impressions are based on, it’s what’s inside us that makes people stay in our lives.
Do yourself and other women a favor tomorrow, go outside as your natural self, no makeup and whatever clothes make you the most comfortable, and own it. Compliment the other women in your lives, it’s the small compliments that make us smile and brighten our day. Remember, Love is louder than the pressure to be perfect.