Why Is It So Hard to Love Our Bodies?

Since we were children, we have been continuously exposed in different ways to the ideas and standards of what perfection and beauty should look like. From the toys we play with, that have a specific body type, to the cartoons we watch that have a stereotypical appearance. Kids grow with these ideas and are not taught to question them. We are taught that we need to look a certain way to be attractive, loved, and successful.

As we grow, these stereotypes do not stop chasing us; they get worse and more persistent. By the time we are teenagers, we are not to compare ourselves anymore to cartoons or toys, but to other humans. Social media, stores, fashion brands, movies, and more  are continually promoting these negative and nonsensical thoughts.

Social media can be a fantastic place, but it can also be very dark and toxic. The thing about social media is that  it’s not real. It shows us what people want to portray themselves as, not what their lives look like. It sets false standards on what looks good and  what people should look like if they want to have followers.

After we are fed all these ideas, we are told to accept ourselves and to love our bodies. The big paradox of loving our bodies the way they are, while continuously being told that they are not good enough, damages our self esteem. 

Although there has been a rise in the diversity of body types in the media and brand campaigns in the last few years, the unremarkable, adored, and glorified figures are still the same perfect measurements and body types from years ago. With a generation that grows more exposed to social media and the internet, people are more prone to compare themselves.

The idea that being skinny equals healthy and pretty has solidified among youngsters. Just do a quick search on YouTube on how to lose weight, and you'll see the amount of unhealthy and toxic ideas shared on the platform. These have developed more significant problems, including mental illnesses, physical illnesses like body dysmorphia, depression, bulimia, anorexia, and more. It is a sad and disgusting fact that today's society still promotes damaging and unrealistic ideals. We should take a stand and put a stop to it once and for all.

Social media can be extremely triggering by promoting unrealistic goals as healthy and attractive. Since we are increasingly dependent on social media, we find ourselves constantly exposed to these damaging and unrealistic goals. It is important to remember that healthy looks different for everyone.

Thankfully, not everything on social media is fake or discomforting. There are a lot of people spreading the message of body positivity. We should all encourage and support movements that promote the idea that all bodies are beautiful. We are all worthy of love, respect, and opportunities.

If you are having problems accepting your body, you are not alone. This is also not your fault, and you should know that you are not the one that needs to change—society is the one that needs to improve and adapt. Accepting our bodies is so hard because we are exposed to stereotypes that make us feel insecure on a daily basis. 

Remember, you are more than just your looks. You are your brain, ideas, creativity, dreams, soul, and much more. Every type of body is lovely and beautiful; it allows you to do the things you like and are good at. It is hard to have these positive thoughts when almost everything around you tells you otherwise. But please, believe and know that you are enough and that you are terrific in your own way.