Body Image Series Part 1: The Beginning

mirror-on-faceThe first signs of me being unhappy with the way I looked started in early middle school. I was never told anything mean, but comments were made that I was incredibly skinny. Some of my friends would joke and say I needed to eat more despite me already being comfortable with how much I was eating. I took their comments as complements but I was confused. I was young but I wasn’t stupid. Wasn’t so much media dedicated to weight loss and everyone’s desire to be skinny? I started to think that I was the wrong kind of thin, that I was somehow made wrong. These thoughts never bothered me too often, but they did cross my mind every now and then and increasingly bothered me as I got older. I knew that others had to be feeling the same way I did, but I rarely heard hushed voices in the locker rooms after gym class saying things like, “I need to lose five pounds before prom” or “I’m going to skip lunch and dinner today. I’m looking fat.”

The older I got, however, the more open to myself and those around me I became. It turned out that I was not alone, that I had company who disliked the same things about themselves that I did. In the past few years, and even more so since starting college, I’ve made an active commitment to get to the state of mind where I enjoy who I am and the way I look.

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Driving Me Crazy

What do you mean I don't have my license? This is totally my license!

What do you mean I don’t have my license? This is totally my license!

I have a confession to make: I turn twenty yeas old this year and I still do not know how to drive. It seems to be everyone’s dream that the day they turn 16 they go to the DMV, take their road test, and receive their brand new driver’s license. It’s a rite of passage that so many teenagers look forward to, but it is a source of necessary evil in my life. I took Driver’s Education as a sophomore in high school, but the experience was not very beneficial for me. In fact, I think it made me dislike the idea of driving even more! As I’ve researched more into personality types, it turns out that people with my specific personality type do not like being taught new things in the presence of others. Instead, we prefer to work one-on-one with an expert in the field we are studying or learning how to do things on our own. Since the law doesn’t exactly let people figure out how to drive on their own, I was stuck in a silver Impala with “STUDENT DRIVER” plastered on every side and two other students in the car with me. I wasn’t particularly bad at maneuvering a car, but I was incredibly nervous being critiqued in front of my classmates. Doing well at school was what I did, but Driver’s Education did not follow suit with the rest of my courses.

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