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Popping the Big Myth about Popularity

It would be incredible to go back and be able to teach my younger self what I know now. I could have saved myself so much heartache and loneliness, but I know I can’t turn back time. But hey, maybe it’s not too late for you! Or someone you know. So I’m going to dig deep and tell you the truth about the Big Myth about Popularity.

First let me say, if you are in your teens or 20s and drowning in a mass of fears and doubts, you are not alone! I was there, and sometimes still find myself stuck in that mindset. Lots of people are there. Watching social media, seeing the perfect people with their perfect lives. Or being at the mall where everyone else seems to have a special someone to hold hands with, but your hands are empty. They have perfect pets, perfect jobs, perfect families and yours are a cesspool by comparison!

But here’s the truth. Even that popular girl who always looks perfect and is wearing the hottest outfit has underlying issues, ones that are often masked by her appearance. Don’t let the world fool you. Don’t let your ego and the media muddle up your focus. Every day we are shown things on TV that are scripted and altered to look like people have perfect lives. 

Social media accounts are full of shiny objects and fake bodies, made to divide our attention and make us want to achieve unrealistic goals. Even the Victoria Secret models are photoshopped, despite them being absolutely gorgeous to start with! What’s with that? What has this world turned into!? Ugh. Well, even if these beautiful girls with the “perfect” proportions are not flawless, there sure is no hope for the rest of us, one might say. But I’m here to tell you that’s anything but true. 

I have struggled with my self-image for many years. I can actually pin point a day in elementary school, which contributed to the negative view of myself. Since I moved to the US when I was nearly 15 years old, I was still living in a small town in Poland back then. I remember, we had a small party in our class, and all of us brought a snack to share with our classmates and there were decorations and music. I was very excited to go because I loved to dance and I loved spending time with my friends. I was not the most popular girl in class, but I loved my life and didn’t know what true self-criticism was. 

I was dancing with my friends, jamming to the tunes of Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys, when I overheard two boys in my class talk about me “look at that cow”. My heart stopped for a moment and I remember being overcome with grief. I nearly cried, but I stopped myself and quickly went to another part of the room. My fight or flight response activated, and I chose to “escape my predators”. 

Analyzing the situation now, they called me a cow because I had many freckles. I was not big by any standards and I surely did not “moo”. I was in elementary school for crying out loud, but I didn’t understand it. Although brief, this experience stuck with me for most of my life. It wasn’t until recently, when I read the book “A Course in Weight Loss” by Marianne Williamson, and I realized that this memory has held me back and was one of the big reasons why I became an emotional eater. 

These types of memories, can subconsciously haunt us our entire lives. I learned that if a memory comes up in our mind, our subconscious self is trying to communicate with us. We have to analyze that memory to understand why it came up, and work to heal it. This type of active healing has done wonders for me and my well being. 

As women we are all beautiful in different ways. There is no one size fits all like the society has been trying to make us believe. In fact, these norms change. Back in the 50’s and 60’s, women such as Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe were considered some of the most beautiful in the world and were setting the beauty standards. What you may not know is that they had fuller figures at sizes 8 and 12 respectively. In today’s society, they would be considered overweight. 

Societal beauty standards change just like the seasons of the year. What we have to learn to do is not get distracted by these norms, not obsess over social media but focus on ourselves. Our bodies love us and are with us every step of the way. They are the most reliable partner our souls have in this lifetime! Lets treat them with the love they deserve. The key here is to take care of ourselves emotionally and physically in a way that uplifts our true spirit, whatever that might mean for you. 

 

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