Teen Topic Tuesday: Body Image

 

The first time I heard “All About That Bass,” all I really listened to was the catchy tune and the lovely tagline chorus. It was nice to bop along to in the car and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I eventually listened to the actual lyrics and realized that it’s a song about size, skinny vs. fat. And it was actually sending a really good message. Meghan Trainor has come out of nowhere to blindside me and tell me that it’s okay to be curvy or big, that you don’t have to be a size 2 (but that’s also okay if you are).

I’ve rarely heard songs that talk so openly about body issues, especially in today’s world of songs that do nothing but demean women and tell them to shut up and shake their ass (something which has unfortunately transcended all genres). And now with all the slut-shaming and people on the opposite side of the Nicki Minaj issue claiming they love to see a curvy women taking a stance on her body that puts out a positive message (still not sure about that).

I cringe every time I see ads in magazines, even in passing. And even worse, when tabloids catch a bad picture of a celebrity and then demean them publicly. What kind of example is that setting for our youth? Don’t we want people to be accepted regardless of color and sexual orientation? Yes! Then how is judging someone based on their weight or looks any better?

Young women (and men) are being giving false ideas of what the perfect specimen of their gender looks like. For crying out loud, the people in those pictures don’t even look like that in real life! So what’s the point of air-brushing and photo-shopping them into oblivion? And especially when it comes to role models, like Jennifer Lawrence, why are changing what are perfectly good-looking people and making them into something that not even they can attain? It’s one thing to use angles or an old picture to make yourself more appealing to others but it’s another to alter an image that makes you into someone that you aren’t.

No wonder kids are being diagnosed with eating disorders at a young age. We give them a fictional vision of what they should look like, what will make them the most attractive to the opposite sex, and not telling them that that isn’t even what they can look like, that no one is perfect.

I’m stopping all that here. I want you to go to a mirror right now and say the following to yourself 5 times: “I am beautiful. I am desirable. And I am worth it.” Now repeat that every day when you get out of the shower, say it into the mirror, and say it with meaning, with feeling. Because once you believe it, then no one can take it away from you. And confidence is the sexiest thing that a person can have.

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