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For as long as I can remember, I have always had horrible confidence when it came to my body. It’s unsettling to think that these negative self-thoughts came to me as early as 10 years old and it upsets me even more that many young girls continue to think like this today. I obsessed over my body, the foods I was eating, the clothes I wore, how much or little time I spent active and I how I looked to other people. Unfortunately, I also grew up when social media was becoming this new and exciting outlet for people my age and I know for a fact that it affected not just me negatively, but everyone. 

It wasn’t until my freshman year at college and first year on my own when I began to suffer through binge eating episodes because of the stress I was enduring. These episodes caused me to see visible changes to my body and of course, the number on the scale. I grew uncomfortable in my own skin and sought out validation through toxic behaviors. I was the heaviest I had ever been, and it made me feel horrible. I was constantly comparing myself to influencers on social media and the fact that I couldn’t scroll through a magazine article or my explore pages on my social media accounts without catching a glimpse of the latest “weight loss” trend did not help, and I grew into a deep depression that took over my whole life. I was too scared to go to classes for fear of what people would think and even stopped going out with friends – it was the worst my confidence had ever been, but I knew that’s not where I wanted to be, and it was not who I was. 

I started this self-love journey early 2020 and this time I took it seriously. Through this past year I have grown to learn a lot about myself and have found many ways to help combat the negative thoughts that do nothing but harm. 

 

The Health, Fitness and Diet Industry are a SCAM!

We have seen the weight loss industries grow into a billion-dollar playground and they don’t seem to be going away any time soon. Social media influencers like to shove these paid promotion teas, wraps, oils, and pills down our throats and swear that they give results. Rather than promote actual body positivity, they push this loving and inclusive façade onto their platform when their promotions of these toxic industries just further push the idea that “if you were skinnier, you’d be so much happier. Look at me! Let me help you.” They don’t really care about what you feel or have to say. So, whenever I start to have negative thoughts and continue to compare myself to the glorified body type, I always remind myself– money talks. 

 

Social Media is fun, but be careful

We are constantly reminded of all the good that the internet has brought us and how social media can connect us with others easier. Sure, its great! However, we often fail to discuss all the bad that it has brought us too. As much as I love seeing how true body positivity has been taking over the media and the new representation of different bodies within the entertainment industry, body shaming, promoting unhealthy relationships with food and other negative influences are what continue to make women of all ages self-conscious of the smallest things. Remember that social media is supposed to be fun! It’s a space to create and share what you please. If at any time it becomes more than just entertainment and if your mood revolves around what you see on your feed, maybe it’s time to take a break. 

 

Bodies are ever changing!

No two bodies will ever be the same! Don’t shame yourself for not being able to fit into your senior prom dress or if your favorite jeans are starting to fit a little snug. Just because your oversized t-shirts are starting to fit like they should does not mean something is wrong with you. As college aged women, we are moving out of our teenage bodies and filling the adult body! We are no longer that high school kid that would run off 4 hours of sleep and a venti caramel macchiato. Your body will change, and no amount of green weight loss tea will control that. However, what you can control is the habits you allow to form. Eat full meals, exercise when you can and be kind to yourself. 

Life is too short to be holding yourself back and worrying about such superficial things. Buy that cute dress and show off your legs, buy that halter top and show off your arms, buy whatever the hell you want! It’s your body and no one else’s – if you’re happy with yourself, who cares what others think. A number on the scale or an increase in pant size doesn’t determine your worth and I can’t think of a worse way to spend your 20s than obsessing over things that don’t even matter.  

 

 

 

 

 
Sitlali Cortes

Washington '23

Sitlali is a third year student at the University of Washington and intended communications major! She's from Yakima, Washington and when she's not busy with school or work you'll find her with friends and family! She also enjoys reading and writing poetry and making playlists.
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