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I Do Not Have My Sixteen-Year-Old Body Anymore

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Temple chapter.

And that’s okay.

TW: Mentions of weight and eating disorders 

Recently, my Tik Tok for you page has been taken over by videos of women being upset that they do not have their sixteen-year-old bodies. As someone who continues to struggle with my body image, I definitely understood where they were coming from.  

However, as someone who has also taken proactive steps to have a healthier mindset toward my body, like curating my social media feed to show more positive posts, it has definitely sent me spiraling again.  

Let’s get one thing straight. People who are college-aged or older should not have the same body as when they were young teenagers.  

When I was sixteen, I played varsity field hockey, had immediate access to home-cooked meals, struggled with disordered eating and was still a kid. I had a child’s body. 

I have gained weight since then. I don’t play high school sports anymore, and I only have access to the dining hall or fast food.   

Over the last few months, I have made steps towards a healthier relationship with food by practicing intuitive eating, and I’ve learned to understand that I am an adult now, not a 16-year-old girl.  

Once college started and I first realized I was gaining weight, I found myself missing my old body because of beauty standards Even though I knew size does not equate to beauty, my disordered eating habits restarted, and I began to feel disgusted with myself.  

When I took a step back and realized what I was doing to myself, both physically and mentally, I was able to change for the better. I knew I was still beautiful and that my body was just going through a natural change to sustain the new chapter of my life.  

Luckily I was able to form a healthier mindset, but I am worried about the culture that these videos are going to normalize.  

As someone ages, their body is adding on bone mass, muscle and fat needed to sustain new periods of their life, according to U.S. News and World Report. In addition, it is natural for bodies to change when circumstances and surroundings do. 

Women shouldn’t be shamed for not looking like teenagers when they’re facing their 20s. I should not be trying to achieve a 16-year-old body at an adult age and I shouldn’t feel like trying to look younger is a way to appear more desirable.  

I look my age, and that is perfectly fine with me.  

As a culture, not only does weight loss need to stop being sensationalized, we need to stop expecting women to not look their age. I do not need to lose weight to look beautiful. I do not need to look 16 to look beautiful.  

Gianna is a staff writer for Her Campus at Temple University, and a sophomore at Temple University. She usually writes under the Health section, and often covers her personal struggles with mental health and body dysmorphia. Gianna has loved writing ever since she was little. In high school, she had an internship with her local newspaper, also writing for the health section. In college she writes The Temple News and the Templar Yearbook. Her home is in Southern Delaware with her three dogs (who she misses dearly) Keno, Caesar, and Nero. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @ggvogess