IMPORTANT: PLEASE READ AND SHARE -
Something happened today that I didn’t think would ever really happen to me. Something that happens to celebrities and models; but not me.
I have always been uncomfortable with my body. I have felt a multitude of different things that I felt were wrong, entirely due to what society, magazines, commercials, TV, movies, billboards, and sizing charts have told me what was “right,” “acceptable,” “sexy,” and “pretty.”
From - I’m too flat chested, I’m too skinny, I want bigger hips, I want curves, I want to look like a girl, etc. To - My boobs are too big, I am too curvy, I’m fat, my stomach is hideous, I have a permanent double chin, my legs touch this is unacceptable, I am gross, this is why I’ve never had a boyfriend, this is why I lost all my friends, etc.
To this very day, I am not happy with how I look, but for the first time ever, really, I am doing something about it. I have been eating better, exercising, caring about my body, and accepting that some of the things I see in magazines will never be my reality.
I will never look like Miranda Kerr or Kate Moss, and I will never look like Beyonce or Jennifer Lopez: and that is okay.
I am, and always will be my own person. Big or small. In personality and physical size.
I came home, logged into Facebook, and I had a notification that I was tagged in a photo. The photographer shall remain nameless, because drama in this situation is unnecessary, and frankly, not worth my time.
As marked, the left photo was photoshopped and the right is the original.
What the photoshopped photo told me, in my head, was that I was not “pretty enough” as I am naturally, and that I had to be changed and warped into what the photographers idea of “pretty” and “societally acceptable” is. That I was not good enough without the swipe of a mouse to be on his Facebook. That I wasn’t as good looking as the other people in the photo, so that needed to be fixed so we all fit together.
I am not happy with how I look in the photo on the right. It is incredibly hard for me to look at; but I am more uncomfortable with how I look in the photoshopped photo, because that IS NOT ME. The photoshop may have been done thinking I would be excited that I FINALLY looked like the girls in the magazines, or maybe it was done thinking I wouldn’t notice. Whatever the motive, I was offended, hurt, and my confidence and positive image of my own body was mutilated.
I look the way I look. I have come to terms with that. I have my body. It is like no one else. It is unique in all of the good, bad, and ugly.
I have wanted to make a documentary from the standpoint of a teenaged girl living in the center of all stereotypes and social pressures about what is societally “sexy” and “ugly.” Interviews with the public, plastic surgeons, celebrities, doctors, nutritionists, etc.
This is how it is going to start.
Regardless of how I look, I have friends and family that love me for me, because how I look physically is not important to them, and sure as hell doesn’t determine if we are friends/related or not. What matters is that I am my own person, with my own personality, that I love people the way they love me, that I support my loved ones in their passions just as they do for me, that we can all laugh and cry together. Not if I fit into a size 00. Not my cup size, the size of my clothes, or the color of my skin/hair. Because you can look like anyone, but you can’t be like anyone. What you look like, and who you really are, are two very different things.
So this is to everyone that has felt badly about their physical appearance:
You are who you are. You can gain and lose weight and grow and fluctuate and change. But don’t do it because it’s what you think you have to do to be loved. That it is what you have to do to be respected or heard or seen. Do it because you want to, for you, and do it in a healthy way. Do it with self respect, self love, and motivation to become what you want to physically.
If you have a body you are uncomfortable with, you can change it with healthy food and exercise.
If you have an ugly personality, you can change it with a giant slap in the face from reality and the world showing you that an ugly personality is indescribably worse than the look of a “different” body.
Thank you for reading this.
Syd Lynch - 17 - Los Angeles - Aspiring Actress - Friend - Relative - Daughter - Human Being
Please share this with everyone you know. Mortified that my friend was targeted, and even more saddened that these are the kind of struggles young people face every single day, whether they live in the spotlight or not. We can blame the media all we want, but real change will begin with how we treat each other.
Thank you for your bravery in sharing this, Syd.