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Self Image: Goes beyond physical characteristics

Appreciate your body for the little things it does for you.

Atmika+Iyer
Atmika Iyer

Atmika Iyer

Atmika Iyer

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According to the Body Image Therapy Center, 42 percent of girls in first through third grade want to lose weight. Please, re-read that sentence.

Children who are at an age where they still believe in Santa Clause want to lose weight, because as a society, we have placed a heavy value on physical characteristics.

A vast majority of us are responsible for this as we play into the whims and fancies of this society that believes our worth is defined by our physical characteristics. When I say we, I mean boys and girls, men and women. While the statistic shows girls, boys and men alike are looking for the perfect body image to impress.

With all this hype about staying thin, having thick lips, big eyes, an hourglass figure, muscles, etc. we forget about appreciating our body for the little things it does for us. We only focus on whether or not we have that hourglass figure, or those thick biceps.

Right about now, you are probably imagining me as someone with matted hair, dancing in the rain at the beach, covered in peace signs. Yes, my argument here is a bit, well, hippie-ish, but you may benefit from what I have to say, so let go of the stereotypes, for now. But I mean, you should never follow stereotypes.

Think about this for a second. You’ve just finished running a mile around your neighborhood, you’ve come to a stop, out of breath, and suddenly, a cool breeze floats through the air, and you feel it slowly brushing past your body, cooling you down. Your body allowed you to feel that.

There are so many little things that your body does, that you probably never even think about: taste, touch, sound, smell, sight. Your body allows you to experience all those sensations.

There is nothing in the world like laughing till your stomach hurts, or eating a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, and my body allowed me to experience that, and so does yours.

I mean, I was just scrolling through the explorer page on Instagram, as I do when I’m bored, and I saw a post that made me change my entire outlook. It said something along the lines of, when we see the bones under an animal’s skin, we call it out as abuse, but when we see it on human beings, we call it beauty.

I couldn’t help but thinking how true that statement was.

Why do we do this? Because we see ourselves as Barbie dolls that need to be posed perfectly, whilst we do not see animals in that way. The way we advocate for animal rights, that’s the same way we need to advocate for our own bodies. We need to see ourselves as more than just the proportionate doll, rather as a life with value.

So you have a little fat, does that change the fact that your body allows you to sing, dance, laugh and experience life?

Last time I checked, it did not.

We are all talented human beings, one way or another. But as individuals, we need to recognize how much effort our body puts in to aid us in our pursuits.

We could run, play basketball, sketch, dance, sing, or write, and all of them involve bodily exertion. Our legs allow us to run, and our hands allow us to draw or write.

And, let’s face it, the most important thing your body allows us to do is experience the beautiful sensations that come with food. I mean you can taste the amazingness, then your body digests that amazingness, and part of it helps keep you alive and nourished.

Now, I get it. It’s not normal to just take a second to appreciate your body every time you feel the cool droplets of rain on your face, but any time you feel bad because you’re too “fat,” or “ugly,” take a second to remember how you could feel the warmth of the fire on your skin at night, when you went camping with your family.

Moreover, you can’t just abandon the area in which you live, and show up in a wheat skirt with flowers in your hair, and just prance around saying, “Oh, I love myself.”

You don’t have to take the extreme, but learn to shush those voices in your head that spread doubt and apprehension like a pollinating bee.

Everyone, just love yourselves for everything that you are, and everything you’re made of, and everything you can do.

I promise you, you are so much more than just what you see in the mirror. So value all of that, as much as you can, because all of it priceless, all of it!

 

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