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I read a few articles on body image on Psych Central recently, and they really spoke to me. They were all about body image, as well as Body Dysmorphic Disorder, which I’ll refer to as BDD for short.

For those who haven’t heard of BDD, it’s a type of anxiety disorder where a person sees his/her physical “flaws” as severe problems. We all have things we don’t like about our bodies; but for someone with BDD, it’s extreme. It often results in the person getting tons of plastic surgery to “fix” these issues, and I’m sure we can all think of quite a few celebrities who have undergone tons of operations to “fix” their faces. In reality, there’s nothing wrong with these people or their bodies, but they don’t see it that way. To them, their “flaws” are so real and so extreme that they feel the need to do something as extreme as surgery to get rid of those problems. A lot of the time, though, they still don’t feel satisfied; so they get more surgeries, truly believing that each one will be the last. But it’s never good enough (well, hardly ever). I mean, I haven’t heard of many celebrities who stopped after just one surgery.

What they don’t realize is that we all have things we don’t like, or even hate, about our bodies; but that doesn’t mean that we are flawed. And it doesn’t even mean that our bodies are flawed. For instance, I’ve always hated my long legs, my flat chest, my non-existent behind, my narrow feet, my tiny wrists, my skin, and so on. But none of that means that I myself am flawed – and that doesn’t mean that any of those body features are flawed either! But society pressures us so much to look a certain way, specifically like celebrities; and we don’t look like them, we think something’s wrong with us. When really, something’s wrong with society and the media.

For many girls, and some guys as well, being at a certain weight becomes an obsession – so much so that they end up developing eating disorders (ED’s) in order to achieve that weight, or to achieve an even lower one. Many of these girls with ED’s end up with severely poor health and many complications, and sometimes die as a result. It’s real, it’s out there, and many people choose to ignore it. ED’s, as well as any other type of mental disorder, carry such a stigma and are so taboo in this society that people who suffer from them refuse to seek help – but I’ll get into that in a later post.

The point is that society tells us that we have to look a certain way, be a certain type of person, have a certain type of personality, and so on. When really, we’re all fine the way we are. Unless a person has a true deformity (and I mean a legit one), there’s no need for plastic or cosmetic surgery. Implants are not necessary, a new nose is not necessary, a new chin is not necessary – none of that is necessary!

Women and girls, y’all are perfect the way you are. Don’t let society tell you any different, and don’t let society (or anyone else for that matter) make you feel any different. You are all beautiful, and you always will be no matter how you age, what you weigh, which body features you hate, or what someone tells you. Please don’t ever forget that. It’s not worth it to forget it, but it’s priceless to remember it.