Recently I started noticing how, at least people my age, are constantly bringing themselves down with negative comments. Sixteen-year-old girls planning double chin surgeries for 2019, others cutting themselves or ceasing their eating because they don’t have Barbie-type bodies. Maybe this behavior erupted five years ago when their bodies started changing, but could not change this image they saw in the mirror. Or it may have begun with the realization of people's self-criticism, and mimicked their actions, eventually believing what they said.
Truth be told, society as a whole is responsible for low self-esteem on teenagers. I've already mentioned people criticising their body types. But where does this come from? Movies and shows often lack representation of cultures, health problems or, sometimes just a medium sized person. The problem here is that due to constant exposure to them, and the fact that teenagers choose mostly celebrities as their role model, measured against them, most often than not, we fall short in comparison. Celebs are what I like to call either a Gigi or an Ashley, which means, a very thin Victoria’s Secret model such as Hadid or a plus-sized model such as Graham. There is no in-between in modeling and in entertainment, it is very hard to find. Yet, I have to admit, plus-sized models are a step forward, Naturally one would think it is a big step forward because it doesn't only mean representation of a large group of people, but also more variety and better designs for people with this size. Still, it has a big drawback, it still called “plus” as if it was an iPhone. But what is more important than looking like a Victoria’s Secret model? Looking at yourself in the mirror and being happy with what you see.
But it's not only about size. With all of this, loving our bodies is pretty hard, but I think freckles, stretch marks, tattoos, bruises, birthmarks, and scars are probably the coolest thing, you started with almost a blank canvas and now there is a part of you showing that you’ve lived and the sun has shone on you and you’ve grown and maybe fell a few times or loved an image so much you decided to take the pain and embrace it to keep it forever. It may sound childish but I always seem to remember this scene from Cars 2 when Mater, an old tow, needs to take his dents out (which can be parallel to scars) so a costume works better but he refuses, saying that they bring very important memories to him. This is one of Pixar's best body-positive messages ever.
Important things to remember to love yourself are that: your worth is not measured by the size of your waist, that there is no need for a “beach body” because the beach will take whichever body you give it, that your extra pounds are for all of the extra happy memories you have, all the treats you rightly gave yourself. Finally remember that you have a heart made of gold, muscles made of iron and nerves made of steel and those things aren’t light.
Last summer I came across a video of a teenager criticizing her self in front of the mirror. While doing this, her image in the mirror swaps to her younger self who gets offended by this criticism. The teenager stops and says to the little girl that she would never tell her any of those ugly comments and reminds her she is pretty. The child confused asks, "so why don't you say it to yourself?"
We need to love ourselves for who we are, as Rupi Kaur, a 25-year-old Indian poet said "how you love yourself is how you teach others to love you"

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