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Why Not Have Another Cookie? The Importance of Loving Your Body

Why not have another cookie?

The holiday season is coming in hot, and we all know it’s not only the time for cheer and joy, but also eating lots of delicious food. As Grandma brings in the big tin of cookies, we have to ask ourselves, “Should I have another?!”

In all honesty, our society, particularly women, have a problem: it’s negative self-image. We spend so much of our time comparing ourselves to other girls. “That girl is pretty, I wish I could have her hair,” or her body or her face or really anything other than our own characteristics or appearances. But why is this? 

As girls, we have some sort of high expectation for ourselves to be “perfect,” like the models and celebrities we so often see in magazines and on television. The fact is, though, that even these celebrities are airbrushed or surgically modified. They aren’t “perfect,” just the way they are, and, in some ways, it is almost impossible for us normal girls to look just like them no matter how hard we try to follow their workouts or diets or skincare regimes. We see them in their enhanced, I-have-makeup-artist ways and think that is what it looks like to be perfect.

All women, actually people in general, have different body types and ways of doing things. This is a hard concept for our society to capture because of the double standards that are set on women today. 

            You need to be skinny, but not too skinny, ya know?

            You don’t need all that makeup to be pretty. Oh, wow you look so tired.

            Girls shouldn’t be tall. That girl is so short and stocky.

            Girls should work out a lot. Her muscles make her look way too manly.

HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO FIND THE BALANCE BETWEEN IT ALL?

Our society needs to learn that there is not just one way to be beautiful; there is an infinite amount of ways. I had a really hard time with this, as I am 5’4 girl with a muscular build. I always wanted to have the long, skinny legs that were absolutely an impossibility for me. I would make myself feel bad when I saw girls with my “ideal” legs. But then I experienced someone with those long legs tell me that they wish their legs were more muscular like mine. It was like something hit me right in the head. Why are we constantly admiring other people? We should love our bodies the way they are. We should love ourselves. 

I think it’s time we stop striving to be perfect and, instead, focus on being healthy. Not healthy as in never eating a carb ever again, but healthy as in doing what we feel is best for us. We need to put away the scale and start doing things that make us happy and feel healthy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to get the right nutrition and get a good workout in, but it has to be for the right reasons. Ladies, we shouldn’t work out to look like a supermodel; we should work out to burn off some steam, to feel good about ourselves for us. It’s a mental game, and the more we stop putting ourselves down, the better we will feel. The thing is that life is about balance. Sometimes we need that salad and sometimes we need the chocolate chip cookie dough, brownie blast ice cream that is calling our name after receiving a bad test score. Sometimes a lazy day is key, and sometimes a two hour jam/gym sesh is just what we need to boost our confidence. 

Just remember when you’re watching that Victoria Secret Fashion Show this December, you can think that they are beautiful and still be fully confident in how you look as a women. 

Enjoy that extra cookie and maybe a few cold, winter jogs. Just do you, you beautiful ladies!

 

Photos:

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Hi, my name is Lexi Atzen. I am a Sophomore at the University of Iowa and am working on a major in Journalism and Mass Communication with an interest in Human Relations. I have strong interests in running, writing, drinking coffee, and football. You can catch me in Kinnick on gamedays and in a coffee shop any other time.
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