*Beep beep beep*
Rolling over, my hand reaches out with free will to press the snooze button. A sigh escapes my lips as I force myself to sit up. The clock mocks me with the godawful hour; 7:45.
Falling out of bed, the harsh light overhead reveals my image in the mirror. A mop of tangled, frizzy, curly hair surrounds a pale, round face. Tired, drooping eyes with deep purple bags, glare into the glass as I brush my teeth. Glass reflects flaws, while revealing the truest image of a person. Prepping for the day I change that. 26 beauty products, and an hour and 15 minutes later, I leave the bathroom reborn.
Perfect hair, perfect outfit, perfect image.
Riding the tube to work I observe the people around me. Sleepy eyed businessmen in an array of dark-hued suits pack the cars like sardines. It is an ocean of navy blue, gray, and black. Sighing, I am relieved to fit in and look the part. Just a few stops left to the sanctuary of work, where I can hide behind a desk and a screen as the image I created. Doors rattle open and another young woman enters. She is gorgeous. Long legs, thin body, pretty face, and a chic outfit to top it off.
Everything I want.
She sits across from me, her legs crossing with elegance and ease. Jealousy and shame set in, I look down at my short stubby legs crossed in front of me, comparing them to hers. Adjusting my skirt, I avert my gaze turning to my phone for asylum. Social media consoles me for a few fleeting moments, enveloping me with numerous likes and comments of “Damn girl, you look so good!” My confidence is redeemed in an instant.
That is, until another more beautiful being graces my eyes and feelings of inferiority resettle like a pit in my stomach.
Body image issues affect everyone differently, ranging from the most minor cases to major, more serious cases where the development of anxiety, eating disorders, and depression occurs. Unfortunately, it’s an issue that holds influence over a multitude of women and men in the world today. Especially those of the younger generations.
Images in media, meaning all media; i.e. movies, television, social media, magazines, and more hold so much power on impacting the young people of today. These images range from perpetuated stereotypes of the “perfect” body to society’s view of what looks “right”. As younger generations become more ingrained into the internet/mediatized age, their exposure to the negative imprint of said images is continually increased.
Luckily to combat the negative body image, there is the development of body positivity. Movements such as this are widely encouraged on social media allowing for anyone and everyone to share what they love about their bodies while growing in their confidence.
At the end of the day, we are who we are.
An image reflected.
The road to acceptance is long, but it’s worth it.
*Beep beep beep*