Social Problem: Bruised Body Image

Have you looked in the mirror, only to see the minor flaws on your body? Someone chubby, unpretty, or just simply not good enough? Do you criticize more than you take compliments to heart? Do you have the tendency to sneak a side glance at the reflection on the display window while you stroll down the streets?

Jolin Tsai dress

Today’s social problem involves girls’ distorted views of their body, their lack of self-esteem and love for themselves. I’m also totally not immune to these thoughts, constantly battling myself every morning in front of my mirror. I came across a NY Times article detailing this social phenomenon, affecting mostly girls across all ages. With today’s media and high social expectations, girls fall victim to society’s unrelenting eyes. If you’re not skinny enough, you are not pretty then. You start starving and dieting. And then you fall victim to this psychological game that keeps going around in endless circles.

For me, I am at normal weight, but I could lose 10-20 pounds to fit the ideal Asian physique. I grew up in America, surrounded by the fast food biz and junk foods, but I was raised well enough to not overindulge. Since coming to college, I adjusted to a primarily vegetarian diet, and dropped about 10 pounds. I started changing my style and fitting clothes more suited to my shape and personality. I became a more confident young lady, but I am still not immune to skinny sticks walking down the streets or posing on billboards. I walk by mirrors and reflective windows to sneak a peak at how I look in public. Sometimes I think to myself, “My butt looks slightly big,” or “My hips are too rounded and not like sticks.” It is hard when you grew up slightly chubby and you were never stick-thin. When I look at Asian popstars, they look like they do not even try to stay thin; it is part of their genes that I failed to inherit or something.

I know I should love myself more, but I feel this stigma attached to body image. I do not want to keep sucking in my stomach to be less than 30” around my waist. I do not want to continue hiding myself in slimming cardigans, and become more comfortable showing my arms. I do want to slim down from a size 8-9 jeans to a smaller size. I want to feel attractive, and the world today makes that true only through thinness, and not chubbiness. I mean, I don’t want to be skin and bones, but I want to be thin and healthy. The difference between me and an anorexic is that I exercise and eat healthy, only in smaller portions. I hope in the future, I can reach my personal weight goal, be healthy, and be happy when I look in the mirror 🙂


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