My Body, Not Yours

Society needs to abandon outdated beauty standards. The Tiger Print Staff acknowledges that the content in this article may elicit unwanted reactions from those struggling with body dysmorphia. Please read at your own discretion.

My Body, Not Yours

Regan Byrnes, Web Editor

“Get your perfect body now!”

“Lose 10 pounds in 10 days!”

“This new diet will change your life!”

These types of articles have been spewed across the world before I was even born. 

Though society encourages people to express themselves and stay true to who they are, people only like this if you conform to their idea of beauty, ranging from unrealistic eating habits to extreme workout routines that ultimately make you feel worse about yourself. 

I know this because I was brainwashed and participated in this a few years ago. I was young and extremely insecure about my body and thought if I would lose weight and become skinny, I would like myself better. 

This was untrue in the end. Sure, I had lost a few pounds, not in a healthy way may I add, and I had gotten slimmer — but I still felt horrible. Loving yourself and the way you look is a long journey, but this is a conversation for another time. 

News outlets knowingly target people and their insecurities to try and negatively influence them to change their bodies to conform to society’s beauty standards. Though news platforms have adjusted to new societal rules and are focusing less on people’s bodies, some companies still participate in these toxic beliefs.

The “National Enquirer” continues to force these cynical ideals by publishing an issue called “This Year’s 50 Best & Worst Beach Bodies,” specifically calling out celebrities who made the front page. 

This issue received many hateful comments from the public and the celebrities themselves regarding how these types of articles are not OK and are very damaging to a person’s mental health. 

Though often known that these comments and negative advertisements affect women, people often forget they affect men and non-binary people as well. An article posted in “The New York Times” discusses the effects of bigorexia, a feeling of muscle dysmorphia, seen mostly in men, that is characterized by extreme weight lifting. It also can be noticed as not feeling strong enough and lowering the number of calories you eat to lose weight. 

Sadly, because of social media, more men are prone to seeing content encouraging them to limit their diet, exercise, or engage in the trend of bulking, which when turned extreme, involves eating excessively and then participating in over-intensified workout routines. Though new generations, such as generation ‘Z,’ are trying to break the stigma of needing to be extremely thin or muscular to be seen as beautiful.

With the rise of these new ideals, a new campaign sprouted called the “Power of Plus,” which provides mental health resources for people who have been body-shamed and information regarding the issue of fatphobia. 

It will take society a while to adjust from these destructive beliefs to this newfound acceptance because it has been ingrained in us for many decades. 

I hope many others will soon hold the same opinion that I do about body positivity. 

You should wear that skirt, those shorts or even that really cute crop top because who cares what people think?