The difficult battle between the real self vs unrealistic self

So let me first explain what this post is about as it can digress into various arguments. When I talk of the real self- I mean the person who you really are, who you want to be, how you want to look in comparison with the self that is being projected in society of “how to look good”, “the perfect size” etc. I am concerned with how society is making us think in regards to our self-image. This guys is not just about girls trying to impress you with their great figure, it goes much deeper than that and it is about their confidence and self-image in light of society- to look good for the world and for themselves.

Recently I lost weight and thought great I have lost weight great I look good. But even if I lose weight I never feel good (no I do not have anorexia- you don’t have to have this to answer your insecurities). I am a size 8 usually which I love being but there are the pressures to be thinner. To look and feel perfect like the women portrayed in magazines and on television. How do they look that good? Where are all their imperfections and marks from previous cuts. Is it their true self? Do they have stretch marks? Do they have marks at all? How does their skin look silky soft and beautiful? In magazines the answer is easy- they are airbrushed and their true body is not shown. No one looks like that- everyone has imperfections. But there is the problem of the unreal which keeps developing and seeping into societal thoughts and thus into my thoughts. Where a slim girl with a great figure turns round and doubts herself. I look at my cousins and compare myself to others and think gosh they are so skinny- they look terrible and then subconsciously I think wow I wish I was that skinny, I wish I could be really thin like I used to be when I was small. But then a part of your mind also thinks I would never want to be that skinny I like to be curvy. There’s no equilibrium- no way of being completely satisfied with the self without having doubts. What if I looked a little bit thinner? What if?

Though it seems that the pressures don’t come just from society, but from family, friends and others who are important to you. If my aunt turns round and tells me I am fat- obviously it will affect me- if anyone says ohh are you pregnant? when you’re not will kill your self-esteem and knock down your confidence. When you compare yourself to friends or celebrities (if you see them as role models- which I don’t because they make mistakes and it puts them in a strong light as if they are “higher” than us- another rant another time!) When you examine their body, I know I look for imperfections- to see if they have any which relate to me which prove to me they are not the epitome of perfection. We are deceived every single day by images shown in the press, tv, films, etc. We are told that the only way to look good is be skinny. The media criticises any celebrities if they put on a significant amount of weight. They control the celebrities lives when the celebrity decides to lose weight. They have a strong power and control not only on celebrities but on normal people who read the magazines or watch the box. There is pressure all around us and this pressure is also mounting on men who are required to work out and have “muscles” or a “six pack” in order to look sexy and good. Looking perfect I believe is subjective and should not be an objective standard that people should measure themselves against. That I believe is wrong because everyone is different and you can look good in different ways.

Being curvy is the epitome of what it means to be a woman- to have a voluptuous figure with womanly curves. Many women crave it, while others crave the stick thin straight look. When I compare myself to others I feel inferior and that is something you should never feel and thus something you should never do- compare yourself. Every person is unique and looks good in their own way. They say that the majority of men like their woman to be curvy because it looks sexier. Attitudes are changing towards curvy women. It is now the fat vs the skinny. But what about those in between? Everyone has doubts! But if you’re not happy with yourself then how can you be happy with others? How can you be comfortable with others? Have you ever worn the magic dress which when you put on you just feel and know you look incredible? Its a wonderful experience and also difficult to find dresses that really build your confidence, that really flatter your figure but at the same time make you feel like a million dollars (££ pounds in my case!) I am thankful I have had the opportunity to find some amazing dresses that have made me feel amazing.

Being skinny is not as great as everyone makes out- you lose weight so obviously all your clothes don’t fit you anymore- not as well as they used to. Clothes seem to be dropping- they don’t hang well on you and you rarely find the right size in clothes you like. It generally just sucks being skinny with no/less curves and smaller proportions .  When I am curvy and filled out like people say I hate it- I feel a bit fat in some places and the shape of my body is weird, but when I lose weight I also hate it because even though I achieved being slimmer- I miss my curves and my clothes don’t fit me properly. Nothing does! So I am never really satisfied which is sad. There is no equilibrium, but it is a problem that many people face I am sure.

What we must do is accept and notice that there are these pressures. We must be aware that this is how society is conditioning us to look, feel and act. Finally we must be strong and react against it. Don’t let them make you feel small and don’t compare yourself to others. Be happy with you and your self-image. Easier said than done, but its true. In this world and society, it is always going to be a difficult battle and struggle against what is right, what looks good and the truth. Who knows the truth? Society? No wrong! Don’t let the “Great Beast” as Plato says guide you because it is wrong. We can never attain perfection because we were not created to be perfect.

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