Over the past week in my Personal & Social Development Psychology class, we have been learning the extents of self-esteem, self-worth, and self-image. We even watched a movie about this young girl, who was becoming a Super Model for LA Models…at the age of 12.
As a young (human) woman, I can say with complete honesty that I, too, have grown up with self-image and self-esteem issues due to pressure at school, things I saw in magazines, and a distorted self-image. And let me tell you, it’s not fun having a low self-esteem! You legitimately do not like yourself, or the way you look. Now that I’m on my way to being older and more grown, I can’t even fathom how I managed to survive without loving myself. It’s truly a dog-eat-dog world out there…seriously, “cold world no blanket” type of love!
One of the parts of the movie we watched that caught my eye and heart, was when Garren’s mother funded Garren (12 year old, now 15 year old Super Model) to take a trip to Paris, to book new shows and photo shoots. Although she knew the industry pretty well and used to have incredible connections, she had no idea what her self-esteem and self-image was in for.
Garren was a 6 foot tall, thin as ever, beautiful African-American pre-teen. Trust me when I tell you that everything about her was gorgeous. However, the agents in Paris thought otherwise – “We don’t typically book..er..black skin…” said one man. “Oh, you are 96 centimeters around the hip? We need 90 centimeters…we would want you to go on a..how do you say it..diet?” said another woman.
INSTANTLY, I was angered. I get it, the fashion industry has a certain look they go for to create the art they provide us on runways with their high fashion, and in magazines. I GET IT. But to tell a 12 year old girl to diet because you don’t want to pay and sew 6 CENTIMETERS on a few outfits?! The Universe knows how much money this industry pulls on the daily, yet this little girl just got her dreams crushed because she has a SLIGHTLY more curvy hip frame that she stated was “passed down from her mom”. And to what made me even more furious, is the thought of this poor girl putting her health at risk.
What really hurt me was when Garren returned to the states, she became depressed. The beautiful girl who was once filled with confidence and poise and love, didn’t even want to step outside. She called herself ugly, and she even explained how she was going to diet…point blank period. I was so hurt.
This is a message that needs to be spread world wide – ladies, although honest competition is good for the soul, the moment you are in competition with your PERSONALITY or the way you LOOK, you’ve already lost. And this goes for men too. I love working out, I love eating healthy, because it makes me feel good. It did take me a LONG time to get used to the fact that I’m curvy, and not meant to be a skinny girl, but I am okay with that because there’s only ONE ME. I love me.
You guys, please, I really want you to realize and be aware how poorly you speak about yourself. For example, if you had a friend who spoke to you the way you spoke to you, would you still be their friend? Probably not. We want to uplift each other, push each other to greatness, better ourselves!! So why aren’t we doing that for ourselves?! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND YOU ARE IMPORTANT. And do not let anyone take that from you! How dare you take that from yourself. And another thing, do not put your body and health at risk because a certain image you want to portray. Remember, everyone’s lifestyle and body shape is so different. Those girls in the mags don’t even look like the girls in the mags…think about it.
At the end of the day, what really matters?? A 6-pack? Because as far as I’m concerned, your body decomposes when you die. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for wanting to transform your body…it’s challenging and fun and good for your spirit – but to talk badly about yourself and others along the way isn’t going to get you to your results any quicker. Be kind, please.
I LOVE YOU.