Embracing Our Self Image

Growing up I was told by my family and peers I was too skinny. Some of my peers gave me nicknames that I hated, like skinny bone jones. I remember being upset most of the time, but I also remember not sharing my frustration with my family because I thought they wouldn’t understand, plus they were also judging me. Although my family didn’t realize how much they were hurting me they never made me cry like the kids at school did. Society at times can be very harsh when it comes to ones self-image and middle school is one of the hardest transitions. It’s almost like we must fit this criteria that has been put in place by mainstream media. I remember when being chubby, as some might call it, was “in” back in the early 1900s. Being big was a sign of wealth because most wealthy people had the privilege of eating the best food. After the 50s things changed a bit and being thin was what most women desired. Now in 2016 being “thick” is in and most young girls are struggling trying to keep up with the new image. My daughter and my niece are some of those young girls. My daughter and my niece are about 95 pounds and their height is about 5’ 6”. They are on the thin side and I try to encourage them as much as I can because I was once in their shoes. Their peers and their teachers are calling them names. One of my daughters teacher went as far and called her anorexic. I was stunned and upset because instead of trying to uplift my child who is going through puberty, she is making her feel ashamed of her body. A body that is perfect and healthy. So many questions were running thought my mind, like is she trying to damage my child? Does she even know what she is doing to her? What if my daughter really needed help and she is joking about it a condition that many young girls are struggling with. My daughter is thin but that’s just her body structure. Her father in thin and is over 6 feet and I myself was thin growing up.

It seems like we are always trying to please others when it comes to the way we look. When we get ready to go out, are we getting ready for us or for the multitude of people we are going to encounter? Every time I go somewhere I ask myself those questions and I make sure my daughter does too. Trying to please others is practically impossible. Owning whom we are, respecting and loving ourselves will only help us become better people. There is no need for others to tell us how beautiful we are or how nice something fits, once we learn to accept us for who we are, is that our perspective will change in regards to our self-image.

When I was asked by my professor to take a selfie or bring an old one to class, I had my reservations. I don’t really take selfies but I didn’t really realize why I hated the entire process of taking one. Once I started thinking why I didn’t take selfies and post them I realized why. The reason why I don’t take selfies is because I don’t want my daughter to think that a picture defines who I am. There is beauty in every single person and at times people can’t see that. Our beauty is not based on how many likes we have or how many people comment on a picture, Most of the people we have as friends anyways, don’t really care about us. Lets embrace who we are by standing up for our kids who are being criticized by not only their peers but by adults as well.