Love your body

Olivia Janik, Opinions editor

On the first 70 degree day of spring, I wasn’t outside enjoying it. I was in my room on the verge of tears because all of my shorts from the last summer didn’t fit and for the first time, I had stretch marks on my hips. The worst part was I felt guilty for having these insecurities, I felt that I was letting myself and everyone around me down. Just last issue in my column I said I was proud to be confident in who I am, so why was I so torn up with something as vain as how my body looked in a pair of shorts?

Being confident in yourself is harder than it seems. It’s not as easy as just looking in the mirror and saying “I love myself.” Having a positive body image is a process that requires effort, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth it. When you feel comfortable in your own skin, you have an easier time living your life to the fullest without being held back by insecurities.

Jameela Jamil, an actress who stars on NBC’s “The Good Place”, sets a brilliant example of loving imperfections in your body, and being able to see past what’s in the mirror. Her Instagram account (@i_weigh) shows her, as well as many other celebrities and everyday people, measuring what they weigh in aspects of their lives that they’re proud of, not pounds or kilograms. Jamil is an illustrious example of someone loving themselves for the inside and the outside, and not being ashamed.

Like Jamil, I choose to be open about my own insecurities. Why? By talking about my personal experiences with body image, I hope to remind the rest of the world that it’s okay to feel self-conscious about how we look and encourage people everywhere to love their body, imperfections and all. I want to remind my readers that you’re not alone when you worry about how your body looks. Almost every other person on the planet will have similar worries in their lifetime. The first step in overcoming your body image struggles is acknowledging that you do have insecure thoughts sometimes. From there, you find ways to make yourself comfortable in your own body, no matter how silly these methods may seem. For example, I’ve found that I feel great about my body when I wear a comfy pair of mom jeans. Do what you love, treat yourself with respect, and body confidence will follow.

While, I encourage everyone to have a sense of pride in their body, it is more important to have pride in who you are as a person because who you are is so much more than the way you look.

I may not be completely happy with how my body looks, but I am happy with who I am as a person. So I won’t be going on a diet or starting a rigorous exercise routine to fit into my old shorts. If that is what someone needs to do to feel comfortable in their own skin, that’s okay. We all have different methods of feeling confident in ourselves.

I may not always feel confident in my body, but I love myself regardless and I encourage all of my readers to do the same. Love yourself and confidence will follow.