am imperfect

am imperfect. You are imperfect. We are all imperfect because perfection is non-existent. But for us, looks are everything up to a certain point whereby if we could alter anything about our bodies, we would probably do it. This is a reality that we ought to be worried about, and so, this speech is dedicated to those victims of society: the ones who have felt like they needed to change, the ones who have been judged on their flaws, the ones who look into the mirror every single day, trying to look perfect; or shall I say, this speech is … for you!

Think about the times you’ve been told to look a certain way. We all know the feeling of discomfort when this happens and the nervous giggles that we do to hide it. Don’t deny it! We have all dealt with or lived through one of society’s biggest affairs: people’s perception of body image. Maybe you’ve been told to lose some weight, go to the gym and start a diet, or perhaps you’ve been advised to accomplish something entirely different – to eat more food (because I definitely have been told to do so). It may appear like a harmless approach: informing individuals about their alleged “faults” without having a clue about how hard it is to fix them and the long-term psychological impact it can cause. Due to this, I can’t resist the urge to ask why other people have such a great amount of interest in our lives. Do they genuinely want to help us? Or are they battling with their own insecurities as well? But have you ever asked yourself what this so-called term “perfect body” really means? Whatever you do, however much effort you put in or whatever body shape you have, there is always an unreasonably high standard in today’s media-driven society, which tries to pigeonhole you, making it seem impossible to achieve. My body is not your body! In my opinion, no one … and I mean absolutely no one … gets to judge and define my body! No one gets to judge and define your body either!

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You know what disrupts our community and propagates negativity? Well, obviously it’s stereotyping! Allow me to clarify – did you know, that calling someone skinny is the same as calling someone fat? It’s not literally the same thing, but it does convey the same effect. I’ve been called skinny an uncountable number of times, and now it just feels like an insult. It is an insult! There’s this general perception that being fat is unattractive – which is why calling someone fat is deemed offensive. That’s how the term, “fat shaming” originated. But what people don’t sometimes comprehend is that calling somebody skinny is equally hostile. Why? Because “skinny” literally means unattractively thin. If you don’t believe me, simply look it up. So why isn’t there a term called ‘skinny shaming’? I know, it sounds silly and you’re probably thinking it’s nonsensical as well – after all everyone wants to be skinny nowadays, don’t they? But when people call me skinny, I feel mortified. The word itself sounds so nauseating, and that makes me feel repulsed by my own body. I know I’m skinny. I don’t need people to tell me that with a face loaded with disgust. This doesn’t mean that I’m biased. Society has this way of exaggerating terms which can sometimes make trivial problems seem life-threatening. If you’re too fat, you become “obese”, or if you’re too thin, you’re “anorexic”. In any case, what always gets lost in all this, is the unnecessary attention that drives people to become overly conscious about their own bodies, and if you’re one of these parasites of society that contribute to this – well then … shame on you! Take a look at yourself before you go around to offend other people!

And then there’s social media which makes up our entire world to a specific degree and enduring a moment without it can appear to be unimaginable – we are teenagers after all. But sometimes we wind up getting entangled in the media’s sticky web of lies and fall prey to unrealistic body standards like the idealistic images created using photoshop and the pressure created by selfies. This is why problems like eating disorders and the broader concern that is set on needing to have a particular body shape are blamed on media. We all want to look good – some more than others. We want to impress people. It’s no big deal. But wherever we look there’s constantly something telling us that we have the incorrect clothes, hair, or body. Sometimes we see magazines which show models with perfect bodies and flawless skin. And sometimes we say to ourselves: “If only I looked like that”. Commercials ask me, ‘Do you want that flawless body?’ Like, excuse me! Is there something amiss with my physique? Well, obviously, yes. But why change ourselves for the sake of fitting in with today’s society? Society has destroyed our self-confidence. Society doesn’t define you! People don’t define you! You define yourself!

You shouldn’t rely upon others to give you their opinions which might make you feel self-conscious. Rather, be your own person and love your body. I know, it’s easier said than done right? But remember this: when you’re flipping through magazines or scrolling down your Instagram feed and see people with perfect bodies who’re faking their big obnoxious smiles, ask yourself – are they genuinely happy? Or are they too like us trying to keep up with society’s expectations? But the good news is: our perspectives are evolving. Today, we have plus-size models that beauty campaigns are raving about and this literally screams out the message that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Yes, there is controversy about whether this is promoting healthy bodies. But I think that it represents that your size doesn’t matter and you should embrace it rather than being embarrassed about it. It is unfair to say that the extra fat or the lack of fat on a body defines these “superficial” beauty standards we burden others with, which provoke people to go out of their comfort zones.

So don’t narrow your thoughts on how you or someone should look based on the petty and pathetic judgements of society, but instead, love the inner beauty of people, rather than their outer beauty. Why be negative by passing obnoxious, obscene and outrageous comments on someone’s body shape. On the contrary, if you are genuinely concerned for the other person’s health, be there for them. So, boys and girls, it is crucial to love yourself for who you are, not for someone you’re pretending to be. We shouldn’t let society confine us in a certain mold of perfection, instead we need to accept our flaws! So next time you take a look into the mirror: smile and blow a kiss to yourself because you are brilliant! You are bold! And you are beautiful just the way you are!

x

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I'm Belinda!

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