When I was around 12 years old, I was visiting my dad’s side of the family in Baltimore. I really liked going there: for one it showed me a place where a different kind of body type was not only more present but was appreciated. My body has always been very different than other girls my age, and has always been something that other people have commented on – most of the time it wasn’t malicious, but still causes me to think of myself differently. And secondly, I loved Baltimore because of the endless amount of cable TV I could watch. My family in Minnesota went in and out of having cable, so I always saw thought it was a luxury.
But maybe my mom was right not to have cable, when I was visiting my Dad I didn’t really have friends down there or homework to do, so I spent a lot of my time watching daytime TV. I would watch VH1, MTV, BET, etc. But the one show that really stuck out to me was some show about America’s Sexiest 100 women; some model (I can’t even remember her name) attributed her staying fit to sprinkling spicy dried peppers over every meal to speed up her metabolism. I saw her body – large bust, smaller waste, curvy figure and so of course 12-year me really wanted to be like her. I had my dad go out and buy those crushed red peppers and ate them on every food that I ate.
I thought back to that the other day and thought it was hilarious… but then I got really sad. Like think about that, a 12-year old girl so obsessed of being what society tells her is pretty that she does something ridiculous like barely eating and whatever she does eat loaded it up with crushed red peppers.
It’s just really sad to know that our society is so driven by looking a certain way and being a certain person that we push these young girls into body image issues that accentuate their insecurities – when we could just as easily promote confidence not matter what and that we’re all different which makes us beautiful!