If you are anything at all, you are mine.
Almost every reflection of you I see is from the perspective of a fun house mirror, with society providing a completely distorted lens for me to view you through. Most days, I see you as a manifestation of your flaws, and I constantly compare every part of you to those I see around me. You often make picking out my daily outfits a challenge to say the least. However, all of this being said, I am still proud that you are mine.
I embrace every curve, every freckle, and every frustrating flaw. Although it may be hard sometimes, I remind myself that by loving you, every part of you, I win the battle against societal pressures and unrealistic expectations exuded by the college environment and the media at large.
I know that it is challenging to love your body—to own it, and to be proud of it. However, if we can not only love our bodies, but also respect them, we can become self-empowered. We can take back the night. We can C.A.R.E. for ourselves and for others.
Your body is no one else’s. Every inch of you is unique and beautiful, and nothing that anyone else does to you can or will change that.
We live in a world driven by image. We are bombarded with these images of unattainable “perfection”, and to be perfectly honest, it is both overwhelming and exhausting. So, rather than finding yourself driven to change your own image to conform to someone else’s idea of perfection, embrace who you are and make sure that the only image you are conforming to is your own.
Our generation has been defined by a binary of excess. Our super-sized world emphasizes extremes, so it is difficult not to place my body on one end of the spectrum or the other. Collegiettes, it’s time to recognize that you are not defined by this spectrum, your unique beauty completely shatters it.
No one else determines your beauty. No matter what your body has been through, it is yours, and it is beautiful.
So, take a sledgehammer and smash that fun-house mirror. Embrace every blemish, every quirk, and every wrinkle that makes you who you are—because that you is beautiful.