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Something women have struggled with for far too long is our bodies. Do we look good? And if we don’t, we really shouldn’t feel good about ourselves, should we? We are constantly judged, by society, the people in our lives, but most importantly, ourselves. We are our own worst enemies. Most women, when we dress ourselves in the morning are plagued with thoughts of what they should wear. Why? They are unsure as to how they’ll feel in the morning. Will we feel fat, bloated, or just downright ugly? Probably all of the above, which leads to baggy clothing, usually in the color of black because that will make us look slimmer. Worst of all, to make ourselves feel better we drag others into the equation. “I am skinnier than that girl over there, right?” We ask ourselves this as if berating others in our own minds would make us feel better about ourselves. Yet, the only person we are hurting with the constant self-hate and judgment is ourselves.

The problem starts with society and today’s culture. Everywhere we look, there are women that are thinner than the average woman telling us to, “drink this,” or not to eat something in order to be thin and look like them. Instagram is full of “fitspo” accounts; people telling us to go to the gym and do a crazy regimen to get the body of our dreams. Maybe that works for them and that’s great, for them. For us university girls that don’t have the time or energy, all of it may lead to eating disorders and body dysmorphia. Almost every girl you ask will tell you she doesn’t like something or another about her body. Why? In my opinion, most of this can come from Photoshop. Photo editors takes what makes the model real out of a photo, all the blemishes, and stretch marks, and leave us with the feeling that we lack the potential to be pretty. We label ourselves as skinny, chubby, fat, and ugly. We take everything original and special about ourselves, our curves and body shape, and compare it to others in order to determine if it could be considered pretty.

The other problem is those we surround ourselves with. As someone with thin friends, I am constantly aware of what I eat as opposed to what they eat, how good they look in something compared to me, and how I think they feel about themselves compared to how I feel about myself. We are our own worst critic, fulfilling the role of judge and jury in our constant battle to love our bodies. Some women make the conscious choice to starve themselves, exercise and try to lose weight because they feel fat, even if they are thin. I grew up surrounded by women that constantly hated their own bodies and critiqued others of their bodies. Personally, this lead to my own judgment of my body and the constant battle I face with trying to be the perfect, skinny girl that people will like. Honestly, it’s no way to live. Yet it’s a daily battle. Surround yourself with people that don’t make you question yourself, your body, and how you feel. It’s always ok to walk away from a conversation that will only poison your mind in time.

Our problem ends with ourselves. We choose to harass ourselves, starve ourselves, and hurt ourselves just to look like someone worthy of being on a magazine. Some women let the little voice in the back of their minds decide how much she should eat that day, and whether she really deserves dessert. Let me tell you, you ALWAYS deserve dessert. Us women should not define ourselves by a number on the scale or the number on the back of our jeans. We are individuals, beautiful in our own ways. We should strive to be healthy and smart women. We live our whole lives defining ourselves by our weight and how our body looks, yet there is so much more to life than that. We should define ourselves by our achievements and accomplishments, because that’s what we’ll be remembered for, not our weight. We as women are so much more than how we look in a skin-tight dress. We are fierce, strong, and smart all in our own rights and that means more than how good we look today.

Simi is a senior at the University of Alberta studying Sociology and Religious Studies. She grew up in Houston Texas and lives by the saying “go big or go home”. She is currently Her Campus Ualberta's Editor in Chief and Campus Correspondent. School, volunteering, clubs, and work occupy most of her time. You can find her on Instagram at @simi.bhangoo.
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