Thin, skinny, fat and obese. These are four simple words out of the millions in the English language, but do we ever think about how these words could physically and mentally torture the people sitting around us right now? Everyone has heard of the different female body shapes: pear, apple, banana and hourglass. They have been in existence since cavemen times; however, being defined by these shapes is affecting more girls of all ages nowadays.
Not everyone looks exactly how he or she wants to, yet we can all find plenty of good in ourselves every once in a while.
But constant intimidation can destroy a person’s confidence.
When looking around a classroom, anyone can pick out the confident from the insecure. The obvious split between these groups creates a separation between who talks to whom. Being body-confident is great, but it does not mean he or she has to put down less confident students.
When walking in the school hallways, the number of comments heard about what that girl looks like is disturbing. It’s crazy how girls hate being talked about but love talking about their classmates. You are going to meet people who are a little chubbier than you or who are thinner than you, but that shouldn’t mean you treat them any differently.
We all have an image of a perfect body or a famous supermodel that we wish to be, but no one person will ever be exactly the same as another. Even identical twins, who are genetically the same, can have different body shapes. That is simply human nature. Think of your body shape as a unique feature that no one can ever take from you. If everyone was blindfolded and all that was heard were people’s voices and personalities, this idea of “judging others” would not exist as much as it does now because bodies would not be revealed.
In addition, people judge others on the way they speak, which is also not okay, but typically not as much as one would judge looks. People have said they don’t judge others by physical appearance, but that simple up-and-down stare most girls do as they walk to class can ruin another person’s whole day.
Being too thin or “really” fat could be caused by internal conflicts or circumstances going on in a person’s life. Perhaps that insecure-looking person in the hallway or the ones “hiding” behind their clothes have problems at home or internal conflicts that they just want to forget about.
Instead of dealing with problems, some either don’t eat and starve themselves or overeat, which can be a leading sign of depression. Perhaps some cases of this could be alleviated if others didn’t look at them funny or gave them a compliment instead of a harsh look or comment.
Just one simple “hello” or smile could brighten someone’s darkest days.
Recognizing those sitting or walking alone with their head down in the hallway is one step closer to getting to know them. It only takes one more step to say something positive or give a compliment, and that simple sentence could turn insecurities into a favorite physical quality.
Body shapes will never go away, but look past the physical features to find the real person, the one that is worth getting to know. It can have a great impact on a person’s life. Give him or her a chance.
Marchella Verdi is a junior at Shoreham-Wading River High School. Student Voices will appear periodically in this space as part of our education coverage.