Pressure of Having a Perfect Body


Anna Satterfield, Staff Writer/Media Assistant

Body image is an issue that many people struggle with, especially because of false advertisement of the “perfect body” all over social media. Actors, models and influencers, more often than not, are the typical attractive people with ideal body shapes and sculpted facial features. However, this is not what everyone looks like.

According to the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, “The current modern rendition of the ‘ideal body type’ is a figment of a photo-shop-savvy imagination: they don’t exist in reality at all.” However, this is not too reassuring when we constantly see images of people with size zero waists and clear skin, resulting in personal battles with self-esteem for so many individuals of all ages. 

“I don’t think we should strive for perfection for other people. I think if anything, we should be bettering ourselves for ourselves,” comments Sydney Speigner, a freshman.

The Institute for the Psychology of Eating also shares that body image and media influence are two major causes of eating disorders, which affect 8 million Americans. Health professionals report that  “eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness” and “95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25.” 

It saddens me to know that nine in 10 women are unhappy with their bodies and 80% of 13-year-olds have tried to lose weight. We need to normalize our bodies because the reality is that some fat and stretch marks are natural, healthy even. A healthy body weight does not necessarily mean skinny but instead depends on several factors like age, sex, height and medical background. We need to stop comparing what we look like to others because there are too many factors to consider, including genetics, culture, and personal situations.

Frances Miles, a sophomore at Carolina Forest, adds, “I don’t think anyone really has the perfect body because all of us are unique and amazing in our own way.”

Many people don’t realize that when we body shame ourselves, it drastically hurts our self-esteem.  This can add stress to our mental health, as well. Our bodies are only as beautiful as we believe they are; this cannot be measured by dress size or defined abs but by our own self-love and confidence. Remember, a different body is not an ugly body. 

Freshman Abigail Pond shares, “As long as you are healthy, I personally don’t care how you look. Skinny, chubby, muscular, lanky, tall or short. Why does it matter?”