As a 17 year old girl, I am surrounded by advertisements and people telling me that I need to be a size 6 with a gap between my thighs, protruding collar bones, toned arms, a flat stomach and big boobs. Truth be told I have none of these things and for the first time in a long time, I’m okay with that.
There is so much pressure on young women and girls (even boys) today, that we need to fit into a perfect, cookie cutter image to be considered beautiful. And what upsets me about this is that there are only a very small minority of girls that will ever be able to fit into this image. So the rest of us are here, standing on the sidelines with our thighs wedged together, wondering why we don’t get called beautiful, wondering if we will ever be worth it, wondering where God went wrong and why we don’t have 300 likes on every photo posted onto our Instagram feed.
Every media campaign, every ad thrown at us TV and on social media, there are stunning girls with slim thighs and flat stomachs and not a blemish on their face. For once I want to see a real girl as part of a television campaign or on billboards. Real girls get pimples and I’m obviously the realist (yeah sit down Iggy, that’s me) considering my parents had to pay a lot of money for this pimple free skin you see today. I cringe looking at me prior medicinal acne miracle. Since I was 11 years old, I have used every single pimple cream, every face wash and taken every type of acne medication until my dermatologist, who wore Grey’s Anatomy-esque scrubs, pulled out the big gun: Roaccutane. Yes, what you have heard is true, it makes you more depressed and miserable than you were before; my lips looked like they had gone through the shredder they were so dry. Good news though, I didn’t have to wash my hair every two days, which is the best part excluding the acne and scar free skin. (Ever wondered what it would be like to go a week without washing your hair because you’re too lazy? I’ve tried it and it was fantastic). All jokes aside, this long journey to clear my face was for me, but I wouldn’t have been so embarrassed about the state of my skin if it wasn’t for those perfect girls in magazines and on TV. I didn’t clear my acne for the boy down the street or the girls at school, I wanted to do it for my confidence and to help myself have a positive body image. Truth is, I don’t think I’m ever going to 100% get there. But that’s okay.
At the moment I’m 165cm tall and I weigh 70kg. Yeah, the boy I babysit told me I was fat and my BMI told me I was overweight. But I told that BMI calculator to piss off, because I like nuggets and chocolate and I’m okay with that. I try to go to the gym twice a week and I walk to and from school every day to stay fit, so in no way am I sitting on my couch complaining and doing nothing. Nor am I promoting unhealthy diets and obesity because that’s a major problem in our world, but instead I’m trying to get erase the negative stigma surrounding girls who are bigger than a size 10. You are NOT fat, and any boy who tells you that you are, definitely does not deserve your time of day. Any girl at school or online who tells you that you have a big bum and need to lose weight needs to lose the attitude and stop being so damn nasty. You are in this world for you. And you are to here live your life, love yourself and love your body (and Harry Styles). Don’t you dare let anyone tell you that you are not beautiful because of your weight, because you are.
You go and you eat that piece of chocolate cake if that’s going to make you happy. Don’t go starving yourself and stopping yourself from enjoying those five minutes it takes you to eat that mouth-watering fudge iced chocolate cake with M&Ms on top. Savour it, relish it. Eat the whole thing; but only once a month. The rest of the time, just eat a quarter.
The bottom line is, you don’t have to be skinny to be beautiful. And you don’t have to be a size 6 with a thigh gap to be happy and confident with how you look. And if anyone tells you differently, you tell them to f*** right off because you are the most important person in your world and your happiness comes before anyone else’s opinion of you. And tell them to try some cake because it tastes like rainbows and puppies and world peace.