My mind has been tinted. Formed and shaped into the media’s imagery. Over the years, my mind has come to think that I should be a certain way. Many other girls face, what I’m facing. They feel the way I feel almost daily. I have spent countless hours, looking in the mirror, tear streaks on my face, and a magazine in my hand, asking why. “Why can’t I look like them?” “Why can’t I be as skinny as them?” “Why do I have to be the fat one?”
About a month ago, I went to go see a documentary with a friend in my class. It was about how the media affects men, women and children alike. I was able to share a few laughs with my friend and kept my emotions at bay because I kept myself distanced from what the documentary was saying. I heard it and let it go. It talked about what girls put themselves through because of what society says is perfect. I didn’t want to feel what those girls were feeling; I was in a good place. Soon enough, we had a discussion in class today about media ideology. We were watching a video about the Medias ideology about perfect women. This one got to me. I couldn't help but shed a few tears because I knew what was happening and I couldn’t do anything about it. I know that I was going to talk about it; talk about how the media kinda sucks, go home and look into the mirror and ask “what is wrong with me? Why am I so fat. Why is my skin so awful? Why am I not tall enough?” This struggle I face, I keep hidden. People around me, who try to get to know me would say I am a very upbeat, happy person, when sometimes behind closed doors, I am not. However, the truth remains secreted. Sometimes I say that I belong in Hollywood as an actress, because I am so good in acting the part, day after day. I act happy when deep down, I’m fighting a battle. I still continue to look at myself and compare me to others; to really nice beautiful people. I act the role because I don’t want to be asked questions. Questions like “why don’t you see yourself as beautiful?” or “Why don’t you think positive” or my favorite “Why are you over exaggerating?” I try to avoid those questions because I don’t know how to answer them. I try to avoid them at all cost, even if that means putting a smile on and entertaining the people around me. Now I’m not saying that I am a negative, isolated person from everyone who stays upset crying in the dark. I’m just saying that there are times, where I would rather just stay to myself and think.
I call this the struggle of being aware. This is when you know the lies being told to you, but your so stuck in the loop, you can't find a way out. I KNOW these are not realistic women, but somehow, I yearn to be like them. It’s weird but sometimes if feel this way the most when people who are about size 4, 5, 6 tell me they are too fat. HOW DO YOU THINK I FEEL WHEN YOU SAY THAT? Now my mind is saying “at least you’re not as big as me”, but what comes out of my mouth is “No, you look great. Even so, every girl needs her curves *applies smile*.”
This is something I never really liked to talk about but I know that there are many girls fighting their wars like I am. I just want to say to those girls: Don’t be like me. Don’t think you ugly, because you are not. Don’t think you're fat, because you are not. Don’t think you’re not good enough, because you are. Have the self-confidence I pray for every day. Have the strength to help others feel good about themselves, instead of worse. Don’t think you can’t wear what you want to wear because of what others think because you can. Be beautiful, because you are. Don’t be like me and hide your emotions to put on a show. Don’t let the media control you and tell you, you are not good enough, because you are good enough to rule the world. DO NOT DOUBT YOURSELF.
Do not act like me. Be strong, be confident, and be a voice for those who need it. Be beautiful and simply be you.
I’ll get there soon…