For as long as I can remember I have never had a positive image of my body. My mom pointed out my growing double chin while we played a family game of Taboo during Christmas. I was in second grade then. My sense of body image was still evolving at that point and it wasn’t off to a good start. I was 5’5 and 93 pounds at 14 years old. Before the age of 15 I’d already experimented fasting and purging. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. In high school, I guess I could say I grew out of this phase. When I looked in the mirror I started to see what others saw and it was okay.
Now as a college student I get reoccurring feelings that what I see in the mirror is not good enough. Sometimes I still feel like the chubbiest friend in the group. Setting a routine for myself in college has proved to be helpful even though it can be quite challenging. With so much going on during the day it is sometimes easier and less time consuming to just not eat at all even though I know I would be doing myself a favor if I just packed a snack to go. My best days are when I do a morning stretch, eat breakfast, and bring snacks to class.
The media’s idea of beauty still gets to me as a grown woman. Even with all the different campaigns promoting different shapes and sizes of women, I still feel that my own body is outside the now broader lines of beauty. I still have those days when I don’t like what I see in the mirror, but I’ve learned to drown out the negative thoughts that flow in my mind. Instead, I keep going on with my day and continue with my routine without letting the negativity to my head. After dealing with my negative body image for so many years, I know keeping my mental health in check is what helps me keep a positive body image.
Anonymous, UC Davis student