The Devils' Advocate

Don’t allow insecurity to weigh you down

Megan Walker, Reporter

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Do you ever feel inferior to others? Does it seem as if others are “better” looking?

About 90% of teenagers face insecurity due to the shape of their figure. Others were sick of certain people constantly putting themselves down, this was when the phrase “body positivity” was brought about. Buzzfeed’s Nora Whelan writes,Body positivity is unlearning the idea that only certain bodies are worth acceptance and praise, and instead recognizing that all bodies are equally valuable.” Positivity is what makes a huge difference in the world.

Insecurity is a detrimental part of being a teenager. Most struggle before eight in the morning, carefully picking out their outfit. Some days, it just is not worth it to try so hard, confidence lies with comfortability.

Whelan also adds, “It’s completely normal and okay to have bad body-image days, and beating yourself up over it will only make you feel worse.” In other words, it is part of being a human to sometimes feel inferior to others on certain days, but continuing to tell yourself you look bad does not making build confidence any easier. Comparing yourself to others just is not worth it.

Most judge themselves based upon what they see the general population looks like. A parenting article written on PBS informs, Peoples’ images of themselves are shaped by what they see around them, by brand names in magazines, and in particular, by TV shows that focus more on what people wear and how their bodies look than on what they can do.”

The broadcasted version of someone “good looking” is someone who is modelled to be skinny and muscular with the perfect features, and zero stretch marks. This is not a reasonable role model of how to look. Everyone’s bodies are made differently, in turn, means that everyone has different beauty marks in different areas, as well as, stretch marks. Some incorporate stretch marks and beauty marks as “ugly”, when in reality they are what make you, you.

There are a few misunderstandings when it comes to body positivity. The main misunderstanding is that those who are a certain size aren’t allowed to feel included when discussing body positivity. Buzzfeed writer Nora Whelan says “I can’t tell you how often I read comments like, “Body positivity is only for plus-size women.”

Then again, there are certainly fitspo Instagrammers and other straight (not plus-) size people who claim the only way to be truly body-positive is to eat and work out until you look more or less like them.” This is referring to how body positivity should only relate to those who are bigger. This is not the case at all, body positivity is for those of all shapes and sizes. No matter who you are, you should feel good about yourself. Dwelling on what other people look like and comparing yourself to others is when body positivity is necessary, and not just plus sized people feel this.

Maintaining confidence with yourself, and your body can sometimes be difficult when others are trying to bring you down. When you are complimented by a stranger, it is mostly on how you look, rather than who you are. A parenting blog by PBS also adds, Teiner-Adair recommends that we compliment people on qualities other than looks. “Parents so often say ‘You look so pretty today,’ but don’t say things like, ‘You were such a good friend today,’ or ‘You handled that frustration well.”

This shapes people to just automatically care about their appearance more than their personality traits. Also, we are born into a generation where the colors, blue and pink, dictate the colors of our clothes, shoes, and rooms we grow up in. When a baby is on the way, and the gender is known, either blue or pink dictate their room, toys, and everything in between.

Body positivity needs to be understood more, in not just homes, but publically too. There will always be the people who constantly try to tell you what you can and can’t wear. “That’s inappropriate” or “You shouldn’t be wearing that” are two of the most common phrases. This does not help someone’s self esteem. As a community, we should all take part in raising people’s confidence and self esteem, instead of making it lower. School dress code also takes part in limiting someone’s ability to wear what they want. When it comes to dress code, it is never fair to those who are heavier set. You are ten times more likely to get punished for wearing ripped jeans if you are heavier, because it is easier to see. Meanwhile when you are skinnier, it is a lot easier.

Overall, body positivity needs to be discussed more, as well as, understood more. It is the understanding that no matter what size you are, that you are beautiful. If our community stood up for those who are constantly put down, and ignored all of the stereotypes, more people would be body positive. Instead, people put others down, because they have nothing better to do. Your biggest concern as a student should be discovering who you are, not who people want you to be.

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