Eating disorders are a serious issue within our society. People are constantly trying to fit a certain image that has been publicized to them. I have never personally struggled with having an eating disorder, but I do understand what it feels like to have serious self-esteem issues.
I feel that eating disorders can be an issue for everyone; female, male, young or old. In this post, however, I will focus on teen girls that have eating disorders.
One thing I have learned from my 22 years here on this earth is that people are mean and girls in high school are a special breed of mean.
Glee has a character named Marley that I feel perfectly captivates what it feels like to be a teenage girl.
When I was a teenager I had serious issues with my appearance. I didn't think I was nearly as pretty as the friends I had. They never did anything to make me feel this way, but for some internal reason I still had self-esteem issues.
I felt as though my hair never looked quite like all of the other girls and I either had too much make-up on or not enough. I would look at the other girls around me and think, "Why can't I look like them?" I felt like I never measured up to those around me.
I was obsessed with being liked and felt like the only way I could ever be happy is if I was "popular." Thank goodness for my mother. She gave me some great advice when she saw that I was struggling. She told me that being popular is just a mind game and that was a hard pill for me to swallow. I didn't necessarily think this would work but by some miracle my self-esteem began escalating.
Do I think it is important to be popular? The answer is no. I do not think it is important at all anymore. I drove myself crazy the first few years of high school trying to fit the status quo and eventually realized that the most important thing for me to do was to accept myself for who I was. It was then that I began to have respect for myself, and other's began to as well.
I did my very best to be kind to other's and help them to know they were awesome for just simply being themselves. I ended up being Prom Queen my Senior year of high school. I felt so honored and to this day I still hope the reasoning for this could have been due to the change I made my Junior year of high school.
I am now married to a wonderful man who tells me I'm beautiful everyday and to this day I still struggle with self-esteem issues every once in a while. It may not ever go away but I try my best everyday to respect myself enough to appreciate my worth.
My message to those who are struggling with eating disorders or self-esteem issues is to try your very best to see that you are worth so much. Being a teen is hard but being an adult is hard as well. Try your best to respect yourself and do your best to respect others.
My message to those who don't struggle with either of these issues is to remember that even those who appear to have it together could have an internal struggle. Try to be nice to those around you because you never know what they could be going through.
I wrote this post as a guest for Rachel Abramson's blog and I hope you all will take a look to have a better understanding of this issue. She has great insight on the subject.