Submitted by TEPF Volunteer
The media is something with which we are constantly confronted, whether realizing its company consciously or subconsciously. By design, this ever-looming presence automatically becomes a part of our lives the instant we are welcomed onto planet Earth.
So, from the first day, we are provoked by images that command a specific, one-dimensional physical appearance; inability to conform threatens non-acceptance and the belief that we are less than whole. The vulnerability of naivety is the ripest of blank canvases on which to impose a senseless devotion to these unrealistic bodily standards, for as youth, we do not necessarily recognize the power this influence has, as it leads us to develop opinions about how we should look, feel, and act.
For these reasons, I have come to believe that fashion magazines are nothing more than distorted depictions of the human form. I harbor a steady, boiling anger, when I flip through the pages, seeing models that appear alien, looking like overgrown 8-year olds, or adults that completely skipped the hormonal dawn of puberty. Their spindly extremeties and gaunt faces sharply contrast with their large heads, making it sadly obvious that the present state of their bodies is forced, unnatural, and most of all, unhealthy.
I am angry because I know that countless people have looked, and will look, at these pictures, and start comparing themselves to these alien creatures, forming sizable mental notes of all the ways in which their own bodies are unacceptable. No one is immune to this. In doing so, we choose to blanket ourselves in anguish, as we magically forget all of the wonderful, amazing qualities that make us unique and beautiful, all of our talents and inherent capabilities. All of this instantly becomes worthless, because we don’t look like that.
What kind of world what it be if we were all carbon-copies of one another? Pretty boring. And impossible. Everybody is different. Every body is different. Celebrating our differences gives life meaning, verve, and, most of all, identity. The greatest gift of all is that you are inimitably you. Matchless, outstanding, distinctive. You are an individual. The only way to honor this incredible gift is to allow yourself to be yourself. Nourish your physical, emotional, and mental bodies with a balance of food, love, and meaningful experiences and you will thrive in health.
Only you have the authority to choose this path of self-love, nurturing, and acceptance. You have the power to confront negative messages, and recognize that they do not serve your highest, truest purposes. By no means is this easy, but it is entirely possible.