The problem with our culture is the glorification of all that is flawless. Human beings are the epitome of imperfect; how unfair it is, then, when those who show any shortcomings at all are virtually trained to hate themselves? How twisted it is to accept nothing but utmost perfection from ourselves when we were created to embody the beauty of being flawed?
I have read many articles on the evaluation of body image issues– I have read the opinions of outsiders looking in, of those who accept themselves attempting to preach some sort of message that registers with the insecure. I’ll tell you this right now: it doesn’t work. Nothing you can say or do will outweigh the overwhelming and unavoidable voice in their heads that they will never be able to satisfy their own standards. Let me tell you what it’s like when your own mind is your greatest enemy.
Emptiness becomes a desirable feeling; ironically, I seemed to feel my soul was at its fullest when my body was caving in on itself. Every person I met became another comparison to myself; is she smaller, do I look like I belong here, or am I too undesirable to be proudly standing next to her? Looking at my own reflection triggered an unresolvable panic and anxiety within me that I cannot describe, trapping me in my own bedroom out of fear of judgment.
It’s pathetic, really.
You spend your whole life blaming others for your problems, blaming who you are on past hardships and ridicule, to one day wake up and realize that your only demon lives within you. You got to this point. You decided your image meant more to you than your health– and now you’re stuck in this inescapable, cycle of self-hatred. Whether or not you admit it now, the worst part of it all is that you enjoy the effects of killing yourself. You go days without eating, run until your head explodes, or stick your fingers down your throat, and at the end of the day, you’re satisfied. I saw results– other people saw results. I was winning, despite the fact that I was losing every other part of myself.
Before it all, I was different. I enjoyed life for the things that made it beautiful. I took pride in my intelligence; I cared about the things I was passionate about. I used to draw, and I was good. I used to write freely, and I was great. I used to sing, and I felt alive. I used to care about people, but this self-obsessed, attention-seeking version of myself pushed away any real relationships I had. When your appearance becomes the deciding factor on your mental stability, it’s easy to throw away the things that used to matter. I became a shell of a human being, shaping myself into perfection in the outside, despite how utterly empty I was on the inside– literally and figuratively.
Let me tell you, though, how to find the light when the only thing you know is darkness. Stop looking at the unending feed of photos of women with unachievable physiques; I don’t care how unfortunate it is, you will not look like that. Flooding your brain with unrealistic expectations is guaranteeing your own insecurity; you are training yourself to despise your own reflection. Stop surrounding yourself with people who praise you for your appearance alone, but with those who recognize your hidden qualities and adore you for them. Life is more than the way you look when you bend over, stop convincing yourself that people will only be drawn to the most physically attractive version of yourself. Anyone who decides your worth based off the dimensions of your body is a person who deserves to be ignored anyway. You are more than the curves of your figure. You are a mind full of ideas and wonder; don’t you dare let that go to waste over the approval of others. Do the things in life that fuel your fire– not those that burn you to the ground.
And finally, I don’t care what you’ve convinced yourself thus far, I don’t care what you’ve been through, and I don’t care how you justify your actions; you have a problem. No matter how far gone you may be, though, you have the power to stop the insanity. Life doesn’t have to be empty anymore, and you can end the war you’ve created within your own mind. Listen to me. One day you will be full. And you will never empty yourself again.