When Your Body Is No Longer Yours | Teen Ink

When Your Body Is No Longer Yours

April 6, 2011
By Madgie BRONZE, Antioch, California
Madgie BRONZE, Antioch, California
4 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Body image. It’s a phrase associated with weight loss magazines and the media. I’ve come to hate the phrase, in more ways than one. Hopefully, I can accurately put into words in this article why I hate it so much.

I want to lose weight, just like many other girls my age. But why? Certainly not because it's my choice. Certainly not because I simply want to become healthier, even if that does play a small role in it. I want to lose weight because society wants me to lose weight.

There. I said it.

I can pretend all I want that I'm losing weight for me, and to be healthier, but in all honesty, that's not the reason. I want to lose weight because I feel disgusting. I feel unwanted. I feel out of place in a world full of size 0 models and extra-small shirts at the mall. The media pushes girls to be skinnier, to be thin like the photoshopped images of girls on the covers of magazines. Certainly, the media plays a big role in why society is so obsessed with being thin.

But that’s not why most people want to lose weight, is it? They want to lose weight because of the stares. The snickers they get from people passing by, the way their self-esteem plummets with each look in the mirror. It stings. It’s painful, way too painful to bear. No matter how many kind people tell you looks don’t matter, you can’t help but feel like the ugly duckling.

And in that instance, when you decide to lose weight not by your own choice, but because of society, your body no longer feels like your own. Society made that choice for you, chose to make you uncomfortable in your own skin, and beat you down until you conformed to their standards. The phrase ‘body image’ is said with a sneer, with a self-assured smug look on media executives faces. It’s a phrase meant to make you feel uncomfortable. And it works.

I hope one day I can decide to lose weight because of me and my own personal choices. But until then… my body just doesn’t feel like my own.

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