- You feel like shit.
- You scrutinize every single square centimeter of your body in the dressing room, wishing you could change entirely to another person.
- Your failed romances are always riddled by the thought of: “if I was hotter” or “if I was ….”
- You compare yourself constantly to others of the same gender and always end up thinking that you will never be able to achieve their level of perfection.
While I was growing up, I would have mini-mental breakdowns in the dressing room and wished I could be someone else.
The first time I felt “fat” was when I was in preschool. I was already so self-conscious.
Thinking about it now, this scares me. I am scared about the future of young girls and wouldn’t wish these thoughts on anyone. Should I have a daughter, I hope to make it a priority to tell her that she is beautiful. And that anyone who says otherwise should be ignored.
But in a culture where self-improvement is always encouraged, when does it start getting toxic?
For me, it started off toxic and I found myself wanting to be my “best self I can ever be” once I developed self-love. Having Japanese parents, I was constantly bombarded with: “why is she so tan?” and beauty care routines that were unasked for from relatives.
These comments got worse as I grew older. Once I hit first grade, I started to get a little chubby. My cheeks were round, my tummy was protruded, my arms were flabby: I had very little places to see beauty on the outside. Every time I compared myself to my friends, I would feel love towards their kind hearts with a tinge of jealousy mixed in. As I went into middle school, I started to connect all of my problems to my appearance.
Every time I went clothing shopping with my mom, I felt a sense of dread as she picked out clothes from the older age ranges. It wasn’t that I was super tall. I was just growing more horizontally than I should be according to the age ranges at GAP and ZARA. My dad told me to start running, but I felt so self-conscious in my workout gear that I always refused to follow his advice.
My aunts often compared themselves in front of me, lamenting about their waist sizes and double-eyelids. I grew up learning that developing a critical analysis of yourself was the universal conversation starter for all females.
As I went into middle school, I started to connect all of my problems to my appearance.
My presentation grade would have been better if I had skinnier thighs like Sara. She wouldn’t have been so self-conscious.
I would scoff at my thoughts now, but its toxicity still rings true to so many of the female population. It was only after I started to get into Instagram, that I realized most girls feel self-conscious. No one (including guys) is perfectly confident. The difference between those girls and me was that I had let myself get so caught up in appearance and acceptance by the opposite gender.
First of all, I have to admit that I still have moments like this. When I just want to cry in the dressing room at a clothing store because I just hate my body. But after awhile, I always pick up my pieces of self-worth and tie them back together with the ropes of phrases like “I look amazing now, and I will keep on getting more beautiful” and “Not all shapes and colors will fit everyone, you just have to keep on finding the perfect fit for you”.
Not all shapes and colors will fit everyone, you just have to keep on finding the perfect fit for you”.
Not only does the above phrase describe how shopping works in general, but it also goes for dating. Most of the time, I fall in love too fast and think too far ahead about the potential relationship. I give too much and often find myself in shambles after the guy loses interest.
This may sound sappy and corny but in this world of commodified beauty that is mass-produced every second, it is essential for females to understand that: you will always find the guy who is perfect for you, just like you will be perfect for that one lucky guy. Forget who and what is your “type”, and focus more on the inside of yourself. Nothing is perfect and that you will always be the person most interested in you. Even your prince charming will be more caught up on his life and his looks than how you look in a bikini or your deteriorating mental health.
You were born with a fan who was willing to stick it through with you for life, and you might as well use it to cheer you on.
Just a few minutes ago, I figured out that my crush’s type was none of what I could achieve. White skin, willowy arms and legs, an ennui atmosphere: I can’t see myself in any of that description. He constantly likes and compliments girls who are the typical Asian beauties, but I have never been able to squeeze myself into that narrow ideal. I have beaten myself up mentally and physically far too long to even start crying now, so I have decided to take up the path of self-love instead.
I want to be perfect for me, and no guy’s comment about my thunder thighs or unladylike walk will deter me from my path of a healthy lifestyle that includes the occasional Mcdonalds and bikini pics in which I don’t have washboard abs(never even had them!). If he isn’t interested in me, then all I can do is to move on and to keep on improving myself. You may as well use that rejection as a motivation for a healthier lifestyle in a mental and physical sense, and perhaps the greatest revenge towards someone who just wasn’t right for you would be to not give a f*ck about it.