Study Abroad Corner

What you need to know about body image


This is a guest post by Wendy Fu.

Authors note: The topic of this article is mainly targeted towards girls, but regardless of your gender you should take a peak! It is important that everyone understand these struggles girls go through, so you can help them build more self-esteem and appreciate life! Here’s what you need to know about body image:

  1. It’s okay if you have insecurities about your body. You aren’t alone.
  2. Everyone has insecurities, but most people hide them. This is especially true for girls, who are extremely critical of their own physical appearance. A friend of mine, who is one of the most gorgeous girls I’ve met, told me that she wishes she had bigger chest. It was something I would have never expected her to say, because I never notice that about her and I never thought it would cause her concerns. The point is that everyone has insecurities, and our eyes are not adjusted to see them but rather to see the qualities that we desire to have. So don’t feel alone in this journey toward finding self-confidence. Seek out a close friend and talk to them about it. It helps I promise!

  3. Every person has a different body type.
  4. This was something I realized just last week while I was running in the park. It was the epiphany that no matter how much I wanted or how hard I worked to look like someone, I will never look like them. People are born with different body structure – some bony, some curvy, some with longer legs, some with shorter limbs. This is mostly (some might argue all) genetic. Rather than working to become like them, I am now working to build a better version of myself. I am (that means so are you!) beautiful the way I am, and I am content with what I am given. It took me almost 10 years to really understand this – that everyone is BUILT differently – but it’s definitely not too late to start appreciating my healthy body!

  5. There is someone out there who appreciates you for just the way you are.
  6. I used to think there was only one standard of beauty – skinny with curves, large eyes and tall nose, long hair, blah blah blah – basically whatever you would see on the magazine. I used to also think that people (aka guys) only find that type of girl attractive, which was why in high school I was not confident in my looks. But what I found out through the years, was that people find different physical qualities to be desirable. There is someone out there who thinks you are perfect the way you are. So don’t try to change yourself to look like everybody else. You are a unique individual, someone special. Stay that way!

  7. Don’t take your body for granted. Take care of it and don’t abuse it.
  8. Did you know that it is a miracle that you are here on this Earth? So many things have to be right and happening at the right time for you to be here. To be able to read and understand this text, to hear and smell your surroundings, are gifts. There are so many people who are not as fortunate as you and I are, who are suffering from an illness, are wishing that they can just be healthy, and self-sufficient. Love your body and take good care of it (which means getting enough rest, eating healthy, etc). Treat it well so later on you can spend more time with those you love.

    Source: QuotesGram

  9. Throw away the scale. Your happiness is more than a number.
  10. I haven’t weighed myself in years and the last time I owned a scale was in high school, during which I used to weigh myself everyday. I was never satisfied with the number I saw. I thought feeling light can make me happy, which is ridiculous now thinking about it, how a stupid number (which may not even be a real number since those dumb scales never work accurately) could change my mood so drastically. Happiness is more than a number (this means your bra size, jean size, etc), and I am so much happier now without a scale. I eat whatever I want, in moderation. My weight fluctuates, but that’s because I am human and I am a girl and girls get bloated during their period. So what are you waiting for? Yes go throw that piece of junk out!

  11. If you want to improve your body image, remember that changes take time.
  12. Your body is a dynamic system that takes time to change. If you are wanting it to change a certain way, whether it’d be losing more body fat and/or gaining muscle mass, etc, you should do so in a healthy way and you will need to be patient. Lay out and follow a workout and/or dietary schedule. Don’t expect yourself to look different after just one day of running, or even a week. There is no shortcut to being and looking healthy. No pain, no gain!

  13. And remember – you are so much more than what you are on the outside.
  14. You are appreciated for who you are as a person, not just for how you look. People surround you because they enjoy your presence, your ideas, your personality. You are beautiful, inside and out, so don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise!

  15. Tip for those are wanting to IMPROVE their physical appearance: gym is not the only choice.
  16. I don’t like the gym and I don’t like going to the gym. I hate inhaling other people’s sweat in an enclosed space and touching machines that people have sweated on. The rooms always feel very stuffy for some reason. There are many, many alternatives to going to the gym. For cardio, I run outdoors. Compare to running on the boring treadmill, the smell and the sound of mother nature are such blessings. And for strength building, I rely on YouTube channels and also Apps. For beginners and homebody (like me), I recommend Blogilates (Youtube) and the Nike Training app! (Stay tuned for another post on this topic soon!)

And you? What are your thoughts on body image? COMMENT BELOW!

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Wendy Fu

About Wendy Fu

Wendy moved to the U.S. from China in 2003 with her family. She attended middle and high school in Texas before moving to Los Angeles for college. She graduated in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California (USC). She is currently attending the School of Dentistry at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

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