I Hate my Body
Jemila, looking in the mirror with a sad expression on her face, remarked aloud, “I wish I wasn’t so thin.”
I believe many of us are Jemila. I mean, I was Jemila at some point, especially when I was younger. I was the chubby one in my friend group. My friends were all really slim with great physiques. They were flawless in my eyes.
To be honest, I attempted to lose weight to be more like them. I recall walking home from school (I’ve done some strange things) and hiding it from my family because I didn’t want to be laughed at.
I used to overhear some of my classmates (primarily boys) mocking “fat” girls and saying nasty things to them in the form of jokes.
My set mates (again, boys) called dark girls names like “blacky” and “charcoal” even when they were dark-skined themselves.
Because I’m Nigerian and reside in Nigeria, this felt weird. Isn’t it strange that you make fun of black Africans? What other colour would you like them to be?
Since my skin is light, I didn’t understand their discomfort at that age. Imagine growing up in such an environment!
The main conclusion is that I thought it was wrong to be bigger than your friends at that age. Not fitting in seemed wrong to me.
The majority of people struggle with their body image. It has happened to me before, and it hasn’t been pleasant.
Worse, the social media age is making these feelings of self-hatred even more prevalent. If you’re wondering what body image is, it’s how we think and feel about our physical appearance, as well as how we believe others see us.
When it comes to body image, we might think about our bodies and how we look in a variety of ways. You may notice that you like your body, or sections of your body, at times and struggle with how you appear at others.
You’re self-conscious about your appearance. Body issues aren’t exclusively limited to women, as popular belief suggests.
I understand that women are more concerned with their appearance in order to feel good about themselves and appear appealing, but guys are also affected.
We use social media on a daily basis. On social media, we see flawless people. Models and influencers for women have beautiful bodies– dark slanted eyes, curved hips, no acne, a flat tummy, slim waist, straight legs, and, of course, the thigh gap.
You’re mesmerised by their beauty when you look at these people. When you look in the mirror, you secretly wish you were them.
I know you’re defending yourself now, saying things like “That’s a lie,” but it’s true. Regardless of how much you try to reject it, all of these things subconsciously settle in your head, and you start to have these negative thoughts.
I wouldn’t argue social media affects guys as much as society does. As a man, society dictates that you be 9 feet tall (how do you expect to attract all those females if you aren’t 9 feet tall?). Society also instructs you to have a chiselled jawline and a v-shaped back (a square back or other types are trash). Even if you’re in a wheelchair, society believes you shouldn’t be too slim(where the hell are those muscles, bro?)
P.S. I’m not arguing that wanting all these is a bad thing. Absolutely not. You should be on the lookout for the intention that comes with wanting them. For example, do you want biceps and abs to look like the “ideal” guy or do you want them to improve your physical and cardiovascular health?
Feelings of negative body image can develop into mental health disorders over time.
If you keep comparing yourself to others in terms of appearance, you’re on the way to despair, loneliness, self-hatred, and low self-esteem. You can also include eating disorders as your new friend since you’re attempting to gain/lose weight abnormally.
A poor body image is incredibly damaging since you will never be satisfied with yourself. When you seek love from someone or somewhere other than yourself, your worth is reduced to rubble.
This post isn’t intended to teach you about body positivity or how to appreciate yourself for who you are.
The objective is to inform you that you were made in God’s likeness. It makes no difference whether you’re tall, short, or average.
It makes no difference if you have hip dips or curvaceous hips. It makes no difference what your hair texture or skin colour is. It makes no difference what your nose shape or eye shape is.
It doesn’t matter if you’re ripped or not. Of course, if you can strengthen your features by exercising and eating right, do that.
But none of these are important. What is important is that you recognize that you were created in God’s likeness. When you look in the mirror, you should not be disappointed or criticise the ‘flaws’ you notice.
Instead, you should be grateful for God’s creation in you — God’s spark of creativity in you.
We’re all quick to desire to look like someone we think is better than us. It’s a human condition. But wouldn’t the world be boring if we were all the same?
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Thank you for reading. Ciao!🧎♂️