Personal acceptance of your body image

Brooke Howard, Features Editor

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From a young age we are given an outline of what makes us great. Little girls are called things like adorable, pretty, beautiful and sweet and little boys are referred to as handsome, big and strong.

If you take a look at some toys that children play with such as the Barbie doll or a GI Joe action figure you can see why these ideals set in at a later age.

Brown University did a study on what real-life Barbie and GJ Joe would look like. If Barbie were life-sized, she’d be 5”9 and 105 pounds. She would have a BMI of 16.24 and fit the weight criteria for anorexia.

She would also have a Body Mass Index of 16 percent, which would lead to hospitalization.

And if the GI Joe action figure were life-sized he would have biceps almost as big as his waist and be more muscular than most competitive body-builders.

Well, what constitutes beauty nowadays: these Barbie and GI Joe proportions? The media? You will often hear people say, “Well we appreciate a woman’s beauty.” We appreciate a woman’s beauty. What does that even mean?

That means we appreciate the effort she puts in to taking care of herself. Just as someone should appreciate a woman’s intelligence when she puts effort into academia or appreciate a man’s integrity when he has strong moral principles.

But being beautiful is not the end-all be-all key to life. It does not fix all of your problems and you don’t have it incredibly easy just because you are esthetically pleasing.

Instead, the people who are comfortable in their own skin are the people who have it easy. They know how to talk to people and enjoy things in life that don’t come with trying to impress people with your luscious long hair or the ideal body weight.

I believe in being healthy. A type of healthy that makes you happy with yourself. A full-acceptance inside and out of your self-image and body image. You know what you need to work on and you accept it and you love yourself regardless of the things you need to work on.

Why is it important to love yourself? It’s a simple question with many answers. My main answer is it will affect your relationships, romantic or not.

Feelings of jealously, insecurity and constantly comparing yourself are norms when you don’t love who you are. Sometimes you put others down to make yourself feel better. Sometimes you scroll through Facebook and get overwhelming pangs of jealously when you see that friend from high school who somehow managed to maintain that adolescent zero-fat-percentage body.

Well, news flash. Who knows if zero-fat-percentage Billy is happy or not. Just because people share their highlight reel with you does not mean they, or their lives are perfect.

Listen. You can pick, pluck and diet yourself into oblivion. Or you can come to the realization that there is nothing we can do to alter our genetic makeup – whether we’re short, tall, built like a string bean or a linebacker; whether we have poop-brown eyes and freckles or we have the body of a god. Diversity is what makes each of us individuals and instead of fearing our differences, we need to celebrate others and ourselves.

Guys – romanticize yourselves. You don’t need those GI Joe muscles or six-pack abs to get the girl. Just keep rocking the shit out of that sweater. Girls – that mole you hate? Those few extra pounds you wish you didn’t have? You best believe there are multiple people in this world who love those quarks about you.

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