What makes you beautiful

Casey Nguyen, Staff writer

When looking at ourselves in the mirror, most of us worry. Either it is occasionally or frequently, there is always something about our body that we would like to change. Maybe “I’m too skinny.” “I’m too short.” “My breasts are too small.” “My nose is too big.” “I have too much acne.” These lines have become a common use to the female population in this day and age.

It is not always easy to accept ourselves, in this case: our body image. All we do is worry about our appearance, or even obsess about the way we look. It is becoming a routine, or daily, occurrence. And it makes it difficult to be confident with who we are.

These fears and insecurities may prevent us from enjoying our lives. Because of this, they are interfering with our relationships with other people. Besides this, they are also preventing us from pursuing opportunities to meet our goals.

Meanwhile, it does not make sense to shame those who think like this because then we all would lose. But then again, how do we win? It is by changing the game, changing our small mindset on what seems to be ideally perfect in our eyes.

“It was the way you were born and it is unique. There is no one else exactly like you,” sophomore Sesina Beyene said.

Humans, by definition, are far from perfect. It is what makes each of us unique and original. Obsessing over the small details of our face or body could lead to larger conflicts. Dieting, for example, can lead to eating disorders. Certain weight loss medications can lead to hair thinning, headaches and more.

“You have to love yourself. You have to be confident in yourself,” sophomore Hlina Wondwossen said.

Recognize that your body is your own, no matter what shape or size it comes in. Focus on what your body is and what it could do, not with what is wrong with it and what you want to change about it.

“God made you like this for a reason, don’t be ashamed of it, be proud of it,” Wondwossen said, “There is no such thing as a perfect body.”

Before going any further, remember that you are not alone in this. Millions of women in the world, a majority of teenage girls out there, feel the same way. They are insecure and it is absolutely normal to feel or do so.

It is normal to find faults with our body, especially in the era we live in. We live in a world where there are Victoria’s Secret models with near-perfect bone structures and stick-thin figures. Despite this, do not measure yourself up to them.

“Half of them have had surgery to get there,” Beyene said. Not only this, but, “celebrities are shaped and manufactured to look the way that they do,” sophomore Zain Ghul said.

Women and girls alike, desire to better themselves based on the opinions of their community. Our society places standards on women that girls strive to follow. Their definition of “perfect” is model-thin, which in any case means anorexic.

In the era of perfect airbrushed figures and photoshopping, it is all fake. Professional photographers alter the lighting and effects to complement the models. They retouch their subjects’ bodies to look healthier than they are. That perfect hourglass body you see in magazines? It is not real.  

“There is little you can do to get your body to look like theirs,” Wondwossen said.

So, there is no point to be so harsh on ourselves for nothing. Besides, even if they looked like that in actuality, it is all in the genes. It is not just something you could just turn into after exhaustive diets and exercises.

Instead of this, give your precious body a break. Just remember that everyone is born with a different size and shape, including those models. It is understandable to not like every part of your looks, but when you get stuck on the negatives it can really bring down your self-esteem.

“Self-esteem is what gives people their identity,” sophomore Tiyo Kebede said. “It shows how a person values themselves and how they communicate themselves in society,” Ghul said.

It is what gives you the courage to ask out that one cute boy in your English class. Without it, you cannot do the things you need to or want to. People with high self-esteem know themselves, they know their capabilities. They are realistic and courageous in finding true friends that like and appreciate them for who they are.

“The people I surround myself with play a huge role in maintaining a positive and loving environment, so I never feel the need to hate how I look,” Beyene said.

And the fear that people will judge us or talk about us can also cause massive amounts of anxiety. Do you realize that you see your body through everyone else’s eyes? The truth is how others see us or whether we fit someone else’s standard of beauty is not important. Instead, what is important is being healthy.

“I’ve learned to love myself internally and externally. It is a huge mental freedom to release yourself from the imprisonment of others negative thoughts of you,” senior Nicole McCoy said.

If you are feeling insecure, “Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable in your skin. Do activities that you love to do regardless of your shape and size. Remind yourself you are beautiful exactly the way you are,” sophomore Kenzie Gardner said.

Love and embrace every bit of your being. You, not anyone else, are the one who defines you.