The perfect-shape myth


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Did you wake up this morning and felt uncomfortable in your own body?

Did you stare at your reflection in the mirror and pondered over the shape of your body? Or in fact, did you even see yourself in the mirror or were you just too ashamed to look at your own reflection? Did you feel like hiding instead of going out? If you barely nodded or even thought about these questions then congratulations, you could be suffering from a disorder.

It is estimated that 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder. Eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, binge-eating and others which all affect how much or little people eat. By the self-starvation of anorexia, your body is denied the critical nutrients it needs to operate, and the repeated binge-and-purge cycles of bulimia can destroy the whole digestive system.

Eating disorders are caused by not only food and our eating habits, but contributing factors also include behavioral, psychological, interpersonal and social factors. Anorexia, for instance, is an obsession with weight and fear of becoming overweight, which is why anorexic people starve themselves.

These disorders are not only prevalent in women, but in men as well. Both men and women have developed such standards for themselves that starving is a fashion statement now; having an eating disorder is not a disorder but a trend that everyone needs to follow.

We are all struggling to get the perfect body shape and struggling to mold our image in a way to satisfy the world, but have you ever thought for a second, what do you want?

Our society has created certain body standards for us, and if we deviate from those standards, then we start feeling uncomfortable, almost as if it’s a crime. We become hesitant to think about what we truly want and follow the footsteps of everyone in our society.

If a celebrity is starving herself to become a size zero, then chances are those who idolize that celebrity will starve themselves as well. If they are working out for several hours a day, others follow their example. We are so fascinated by the lives of celebrities and athletes that we try to imitate them and forget to live our own lives on the way.

I am twenty years old, and I think I have spent half of my life trying to look a certain way in order to satisfy the expectations of society. I dread getting dressed up because no matter how good I look, I feel like the first thing people are going to notice about me is my weight and my not-so-perfect body shape. I’m not the only one who feels this way, hundreds of college students are working towards not getting the perfect grades but the perfect body shape.

I need you to stop for a moment and think. Do you really want your future to be dependent on the way you look, or on your intelligence? Do you want to be one of those people who want people to judge them by their cover? There are hundreds of people who have the perfect body, but not the perfect mind. Is this really something worth achieving?

Being healthy is important, but getting a body-image disorder in your attempt to stay healthy is unhealthy.

We are all grown-ups. We are all in college. We are the generation who has a say and will have a say in the future, so why not use our power to achieve something better than a perfect body shape, which is nothing greater than a myth.