High School and Body Image
Liv goes unmasked to talk about the struggle that high school young women face today with body image and how the media has affected the way young women see themselves
In high school, I had an overall great experience. I had great friends. I got saved. I found my identity and I started to understand the deeper meaning of things. Yes, I went through some ups and downs that helped me grow into the person I am now, but who doesn’t? High School is a very important time in a youth’s life. What a lot of people didn’t see, (which surprised me), is that I had major body issues. I guess no one knew because I’ve never been that girl that says, “Oh my gosh, i’m so fat.” or “Ugh, I’m so ugly”. I don’t like putting myself down or exposing my insecurities to others because it makes people feel uncomfortable, and to me, it sets the bar on how other people think you view yourself.
My body issues were rooted in a tie between the plus modelling industry, and the high school standard. I was confused, and I talk more about that in the other blog post I did. (http://www.beautyhasnosize.com/blog/september-30th-2014) It also came from the fact that I’m a big boned, 5,11 asian-american. Where I grew up in Maryland, It was mainly white, and other tall girls can understand that it doesn’t make you feel the best when you are a Large/XL in clothes at age 12 when your friends are still shopping for XS, (plus I was 1 out of 3 asian kids in my white school). I stuck out… ALOT. I always constantly compared myself to my petite body friends who had all the boys’ attention. I would never be them, so I considered myself the ugly one who was just there in the background. All I wanted was to be liked, and considered pretty, even if I wasn’t attracted to the people who thought so. I just wanted to fit in and feel accepted.
It took a lot of tears, diets, cleanses, work outs, and emptiness to understand that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I never appreciated the little things like my health, or where I was because no matter how healthy or thin I became, It was never good enough for myself. If I reached my goal weight, I looked for the next number I could reach, the next jean size I could fit into, thinking that that could buy me happiness. "Maybe if I’m a size 6, Whats-his-face will finally like me", or "I can book jobs as a straight model at size 2”. I was my worst critic and my worst enemy. I absolutely tore myself apart.
I started looking through old pictures from about 2-3 years ago, and my heart broke. I was never fat, nor overweight. I was healthy. Yeah, I wasn’t as small as my friends, but they are 5,0! I put myself on a completely unrealistic scale trying to be like them. I wish I could go back and love myself. Ideally, I would love to be the way I was before, before I gained weight (now) and I don’t think that it’s wrong to want to be the healthy size that once gave you confidence. But that doesn’t mean you have to tear yourself apart with wherever you are now. You might look back one day and feel heart broken for how you thought at this moment too. I will always say the same thing on this topic: healthy goals aren’t a bad thing, don’t let people shame you away from them, but hating yourself IS a bad thing. You can still love yourself while reaching your goals. Your body is God’s gift to you, He lives there, so honor it. Don’t think I have it all together, because I am and will be in the midst of that same process for awhile. I have a lot of wounds that I let Satan create, and I’m letting God heal them, slowly, one by one.
Today, most high schoolers face the same problems all women (and men) face too, which is wanting to feel beautiful, loved and accepted. Media plays a huge role in feeding lies into the heads of everyone on the planet, by setting unrealistic goals with photoshop, etc. Even for plus models, they are photoshopping you to look bigger, who would of think it?! We grow up with an unrealistic standard that we may reach only if we spend thousands of dollars, starving ourselves for a thigh gap, change our nose/forehead/eyes, etc. with plastic surgery, completely destroying what God created, only to find that it’s emptier than what we left it for. “Skinny = pretty”, and curves or anything in between is absolutely unacceptable, right? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. If we only knew the truth at that age. If you are a high schooler reading this, here is the truth: You are beautiful. If you are 400 pounds you are beautiful. If you have crooked teeth you are beautiful. If you have acne you are beautiful. You are hand crafted by the best artist that ever existed. Don’t you think His opinion is more important than the other humans He created? His opinion is that you are loved. You are worthy.
I would be such a hypocrite if I told you that I love how I look all the time. I don’t. I would give anything to be that size 10 again. But slowly and surely, with prayer and petition, I’m trying to love myself because God does. I’m trying to honor my body, because God does, and I’m trying to get healthy again, because it’s important. I hope that you will try too. And remember, BEAUTY HAS NO SIZE.
Christina is passionate about restoring value, purpose, identity and beauty to the young women of this generation. Follow- @beauty_hasnosize