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Let’s Make it Our New Year’s Resolution to Quit Body Shaming

Recently, I read an article that made me angry. A girl who identifies herself as a “size two” was harshly criticizing the fact that she was not allowed to judge what she called a “size 16 girl” while she was constantly attacked for being skinny. Shortly after reading the article, I witnessed a girl who called herself “overweight” attack a skinnier girl in class by calling her a bitch. She then proceeded to sarcastically claim the other girl’s life must have been “so hard.” Who, in these situations, is right? I would say neither of them.

Being in college is a liminal time. We know who we want to be, but we haven’t figured out how to get there. One of the things that comes with this is being aware of our self-image. If you hit the campus gym at any time, you will find it packed from the weight room to the cardio machines. We look at ourselves and others and make constant comparisons. We judge or envy one another, celebrities and even strangers in the mall.

It’s wrong of us to make nonstop comparisons between ourselves and others. We never know what each person faces in their personal lives. Just because you see a person who is bigger than you does not mean that she is insecure with herself. On the flip side, if you see a girl who is skinny, it doesn’t mean that she is completely confident. Every person feels differently about themselves and there’s no way to know for sure what that is without knowing them.

It’s up to us to break the body shaming cycle. Instead of judging each other for the way we look, we should go out of our way to boost each other’s self-confidence. Tell a stranger that she looks pretty. Compliment your classmate on her hairstyle or makeup. But most importantly, look in the mirror every day and smile. When we feel good about ourselves, we can share that love with those around us.

No one ever harps on the nice compliments they receive, but they will always remember the hairstyle that someone told them was not working for them. If each of us makes it a personal goal to quit body shaming, we can encourage positive body images and eventually we will all feel radiant.

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Over caffeinated 80s junkie who talks a mile a minute. Just call me Lorelai Gilmore.  I love books, football and being punny. You can usually find me with my nose in a book or snuggled on the couch watching something I've already seen at least five times. 
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