The Thin Ideal

September 30, 2015

I recently attended The Body Project at my school, a group fighting against the "thin ideal" society and media has created in women. We were asked to write a letter to a younger girl discussing the costs of pursuing this perfect woman. I wanted to share what I came up with as a reminder to both myself and whoever needs a little pick-me-up. If you ever get a chance to do something like this, I would definitely recommend it.

To a younger girl,
 When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Though I can't guess your hair color or face shape, I am pretty certain of what you don't see. Your smile, warm heart, engaging laugh, shining personality. You don't see every single molecule in  your body that makes you you.

 Contrary to poplar belief, what you see in the mirror isn't actually of a reflection of you. More often than not, you're half blind & acting delusional. You end up seeing everything you're not rather than what you truly are. You begin to strive for something that just isn't possible and it hurts you more than you can imagine.  

 It'll take a toll on you--no just physically but mentally & emotionally too. You'll lose yourself in a world of "perfect people." You may believe pursuing this ideal person will make you more attractive, more like-able. But truth be told, you'll distance yourself from those you love. You'll become bitter & unthankful for what you've been blessed with. Chasing after the thin ideal will shrink your heart.

 Try as you might but you'll never be happy until you learn to love yourself the way you are. Flaws & all. The whole concept of the (thin) ideal woman is to make you hate yourself. It will not empower you. It is an infinite chase that will wear out your self esteem, weaken your confidence & potentially evolve into self-harm on a physical level. There are detrimental health costs.

 Before you take on another fad diet tried, consider getting that boob job, push your limits by exercising for another hour or compare yourself to yet another model in a magazine, ask yourself if that supposed benefits outweigh the risks. Is "image" really worth the psychological stress? Is it worth the tangible costs?  Is it worth it to loser yourself for something that cannot exist?

So now I ask you again: When you look in the mirror what do you see?  

Always Love, Kaylee  

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