Not Your Typical Approach To Deal With Body Insecurities

Op-ed

I don't know about you, but sometimes I scare myself when I look into the mirror in the morning. Why is this bloated, curve-less, and short creature who I am? Despite setting up goals like Chloe Ting's two weeks shredded challenge, or a healthy, low sugar, low carb, low everything diet during the quarantine time, I realized the excuse I use that I am too busy to achieve an hourglass body is just a guilty easement.

Growing up in a small town near Shanghai, much of the greetings that were exchanged with my relatives and I are about my body and height. "Oh, god! Look at you! You are getting too skinny and tall. Just like a stick." And once I hit puberty, the comments became, "It's okay to get a little chubby, but you know, you're still a girl! A girl needs to keep her body in check."

These meaningless and almost indifference remarks formed my fickle self-confidence that I fed on others' opinions of myself for existence. I guess I knew I was only caring about my body to please others. Still, the exuberance joy I felt when I received compliments overwhelmingly overshadowed my love and pride for myself. How did I save myself from that toxic environment? I didn't. My family simply moved.

I still wonder to this day if I would have continued the wrongly straining trend if I stayed. Of course, I've always heard people talk about if you are confident with your body, everyone else will be too. It is obviously one of those easier said than done aphorism, and frankly, I could never come to terms like that with my body. In such an image-driven world, I find myself trying to comply with the "norms" other than being "unique" by myself. Contrary to what they teach us in school, "standing out" in this area does not seem practical. Usually, the case would be that social pressure and workspace pressure will be the end of you.

However, I never said to comply with the pressure and judgment inserted by others in this case. Appreciating your flaws might a friendly approach to self-loathing, but I find it better to cope with sarcasm. Before anyone even gets the chance to insult or make a comment about me, I will do it to myself ten times harder. Adjectives, metaphors, hyperbole. Whatever you can think of, I will use to defend and back the hate against me into the corner.

I noticed how it instantly strikes them. The subtle guilt reflects on their faces as they knew my self-destructing attempt was to mock their failure to deliver derogatory remarks. Hiding behind the blind of sarcasm, I was able to demonstrate a confident self that no one would dare to offend. Coming to accept and love your body is not the easiest thing to do. It is the "correct" way to approach body insecurities, but in truth, not many can be completely satisfied with their body.

Instead of forcing yourself to like it, wouldn't it be better to take the first step towards body positivity in your most comfortable way? For me, it might be sarcasm, but it might be visual arts, fashion, or TikTok that is your most convenient approach.

Maybe, learning to live with your insecurities would be a more realistic and easier goal for life.

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Jenny Rong

Jenny Rong is a sophomore from Hong Kong who studies in New York. She loves to advocate for marginalized groups through writing. She enjoys spending her time finding new music, painting, and binge-watching Netflix.


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