Now that the summer is over, we can finally take a deep breath from bikini season. All summer long, Instagram and Facebook feeds were filled with pictures of girls in bikinis on the beach, trying to look as modelesque and artsy at the same time.
It has come to feel like a competition of who can upload the coolest pictures, while still looking extremely pretty, but most importantly skinny. It’s really hard for someone like myself, who has gone through a pretty intense weight-loss journey, to fathom the fact that the girls of our generation are completely obsessed with their body image and comparing themselves to each other. There are even apps on iPhones that girls now use that edit their pictures to make them look taller, leaner, toner, and skinnier. It’s becoming pretty intense.
Trust me, I’m all about caring about your health and wellness as well as showing off your hot bod on vacation. I eat pretty healthy and workout, and I splurge in moderation so whenever a photo-op comes about I take it and share it to social media. But now I’m starting to feel uncomfortable sharing any of my pictures because the bar is set so high by these super thin girls who have unrealistic bodies for every girl to have. And that scares me a little because I am confident in who I am and what I look like. So clearly, this common obsession of how skinny we can get has gotten out of control.
I struggled with my body image for years when I was younger. But as I got older, I began to realize that my body has really nice features. I love my curves and I love the body I was given. And I know that I will never have a stick-thin body because that’s just who I am and I’m 100% content with that. You should be too. No matter if you’re curvy or not, you should love your body. It’s the only one you’ll get so cherish it.
This new need to be the skinniest is now out of control. Girls shouldn’t be proud of the fact that they didn’t eat as much as their friend that day. They shouldn’t edit their pictures to make their stomach flatter and their thigh-gap bigger. They shouldn’t look up to and be jealous of these unrealistic Victoria’s Secret models. They also shouldn’t feel the need to dedicate their time to look at everyone’s pictures, compare their bodies, or point out any flaws. It’s destructive and I know we’re all guilty.
Girls should be confident in themselves, upload pictures of themselves without any edits or modifications, and not compare their bodies to others. Love yourself for who you are because I bet you’re pretty great.
Stefanie Sabar is a student at University of Maryland – College Park