By Glenne Fucci, Regular Contributor September 5, 2015
Alright ladies, it’s that time of year - back to school, back to work, back to reality. Summer is sadly over and we’re about to embark on a new year. While we love the prospect of heading back to our friends, colleges, and extracurriculars, we can also be pretty anxious about what lies ahead, which can lead to some self-hate (namely body shaming). Whether we’re in front of a dressing room mirror or piling on the oversized sweaters to hide what we don’t like about ourselves, heading off into a new environment seems to give us ample opportunity for our internal hater to come to life.
We all dislike things about ourselves, but body shaming is some serious stuff -- stuff that can derail us if we’re not reminded of all the great things we have going for us.
Back in 2003, the world was an entirely different place. Social media was in its fledgling stages, there was no such thing as “Instagram famous” and the being tall was certainly not a prerequisite to rubbing shoulders (or music videos) with top-selling music artists (shoutout to my fellow tall, TSwift, nonetheless). Rather, in 2003, two incredible, historic things happened - the birth of The OC and One Tree Hill. Now, both of these shows were fairly inappropriate for an 11 year old, but I would sneak downstairs while my parents read the newspaper and would pore over how “cool” high school seemed. It didn’t take long for either show to become the object of my generation’s affection and soon a cult-following developed around our fictional counterparts. Within one season I decided I wanted to grow up to be the straight-A version of Summer Roberts and Brooke Davis. I wanted the Juicy sweatsuit, Kate Spade messenger bag, the infatuation of all the boys and the status of most popular girl in school (In retrospect, I should have looked up to Summer for going to Brown or Brooke for starting her own business, but I digress). I wanted nothing more than to be cute and little and bubbly, just like them...
To put it in perspective, by the time I was 13 I was 5’7” (little did I know I would continue to grow until my sophomore year of college). I was the awkward, uncomfortable, noodle-arm tall girl who was always in the back of the class picture. It wasn’t yet “the thing” to be tall and I so longed to look like any one of the popular girls on television. I hated being tall and always thought maybe I would be more popular, more adored, more whatever, if I was shorter.
It shouldn’t come as shock, but turns out no matter how hard you wish for your height to change, it won’t. By high school I realized that hating my height was never going to change it, so what was the point of dwelling on it? I may not have been able to rock the flared jeans with heels look that Brooke seamlessly pulled off, but my height made me a pretty good basketball player and has, years-later, helped me become a pretty fast distance runner. Today, my favorite thing about my body is my height - funny how things work out...
image via botcommunications.com
My point is that we spend a lot of time wishing we could change things about our bodies. We wish we were thinner or had narrower hips or a curvier figure or less muscular arms or to get rid of those stretch marks and cellulite. We assume that if we exercise like fiends and go on radical diets that all these changes will happen for us. Maybe though, just like height, we’re just the way we’re supposed to be. What if we accepted all of our perceived flaws, the same way we accept the fact that our height is what it is? No matter how many times a week you hit the gym, your height is unchangeable, so why not treat other parts of our body the same way? That way, we can start doing things to benefit, instead of alter, ourselves.
I challenge you to do something for yourself this week. Go to the gym, go for a run, do yoga, eat healthy, but do it because it makes you feel good, not because you want it to make you look “good” (whatever that means).
I think if we all start doing these things for ourselves, instead of our appearances, we’ll begin to treasure just how incredible our bodies are in whatever shape they are in. Think about it, your body brings you so much happiness everyday -- whether it’s running miles, playing an instrument, singing, acting, dancing, writing, traveling, studying, your body, as it is right now is bringing that joy to you (well, maybe studying isn’t joyful but learning certainly can be)!
Girl, you are incredible just the way you are.
No need to waste time hating on yourself for all the things you wish you could change about yourself! Go out there, do great things this year, and show yourself just as much as love as you show all the important people, passions and pursuits in your life -- you deserve it!
What aspects of your life do you wish you could change? How can you start to embrace them? How can you begin to show yourself some self-love? Tell us below!
Glenne is a third year law student hailing from NYC, University of Michigan ‘13 grad and Beyonce enthusiast. Currently residing in Korea, her interests include duathlons/triathlons, traveling near and far, documentary films, consuming sugary cereal, watching mid-2000s teen dramas and singing her heart out at Betty Who concerts. You can watch her attempt to navigate Asia and beyond on Instagram @glennefucci.
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