But you’re “B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L,” just the way you are

MaKenna Walsh, Staff Writer

Well, as long as you dye your hair, plump your lips, paint your nails and lose the hips. Maybe pierce your ears, tweeze the brows; have you ever tried whitening strips?

Your boobs are too small, your stomach is huge… Pimples? Disgusting! And don’t even get me started on that cellulite.

But, you’re “beautiful,” they say, just the way you are.

How can anyone feel beautiful when they don’t have anything in common with the people who represent ‘beauty’ today? It is so easy to lose sight of what beautiful means.

Sometimes, we should all take a step back and remember, it’s just a word.

B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L: nine letters that the world has given the power to control the way we dress, the things we eat, the makeup we wear — the list goes on.

Humans have given an insanely impossible meaning and mind-boggling amount of power to a bunch of letters.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to understand that one person’s definition of beauty will not be the same as the person sitting next to them.

Bradley University’s “The Body Project” states that, “it is easy to forget that standards of beauty are arbitrary!” My idea of beautiful hair is guaranteed to be different from other people.

The words “body image” and “self-esteem” are being talked about a lot. It’s an epidemic. People undoubtedly care more now than ever about the way that they look.

In Joan Esherick’s “Emotions and Eating,” she discusses a study done in the past which revealed that over half of the girls surveyed, ages 18 to 25, responded that they’d rather be “run over by a truck than be fat.”

Fat is another one of those words that will immediately provoke a negative response.

According to the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, “Adolescent girls are more afraid of gaining weight than getting cancer, losing their parents or nuclear war.”

It is absolutely horrifying that this is how young minds think! How can physical appearance come before one’s own life or the lives of their loved ones?

Poor body image can easily spiral out of control and lead to serious life-altering eating disorders. Some eating disorders can even turn fatal. It’s impossible to determine exactly how many people suffer from an eating disorder, due to people not necessarily understanding their own symptoms.

Most young girls are exposed to such unrealistic standards of beauty before they even understand what they are looking at!

For birthdays and holidays young girls often received creepy little dolls depicting creatures with strange proportions, you may have heard of them, too: Barbies, Bratz, Cabbage Patch Kids, Polly Pockets and American Girl Dolls.

After dolls comes magazines, internet ads, snapchat beauties and instagram models. I remember constantly asking my mom when I was younger, “Why can’t I look like her?” Whether it was an actress on TV or a girl — who is more photoshop than human — in a clothing ad.

I hear girls on a regular basis saying they wish they had curly hair because straight hair is so boring, or vice versa because curly hair is so much work.

Unfortunately, the grass is always greener on the other side, at least it feels that way.

To accept the body we were given and loving the skin we’re in is hard. It should not be swept under the rug. I don’t necessarily believe that we were raised to hate ourselves as much as we’ve been raised to love others more.

We grow up hearing that we’re all ‘unique’ and ‘special’ and to love our differences, but when did we stop?  Why did we stop? What made us want to look like the person sitting next to us?

“I found I was more confident when I stopped trying to be someone else’s definition of beautiful and started being my own.” said Remington Miller.

Practicing self love is important. Sharing it is just as impactful. Compliment someone today!