Not All Boys Are Going To Love Me For Who I Am, But That Won’t Stop Me From Being The Real Me
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It all started with something that my then-boyfriend had said.

"You have a really pretty face, but sometimes I wish your waist was a bit smaller."

I was 16 years old at the time, a sophomore in high school dating a graduating senior.

It was only after he said that, though, when my obsession with body image began to control me. It initiated my daily, grueling routines of waking up, weighing myself on a scale before staring at the reflection of myself in the mirror while I brushed my teeth—assessing where exactly I hated the most about my body and internally screaming at myself about why I didn't have a thigh gap like most other girls in my class.

My obsession led me to desperately scour the internet over weight loss tricks, fitspo pictures, diet fads and hundreds of screenshots of my "dream body" which I would stare at every time I felt hungry but lied I wasn't whenever my mom would call me down from the kitchen to eat dinner.

A year later, I moved to an entirely new high school the middle of my junior year, relocating from a small, teeny tiny town in Connecticut to big and bright Los Angeles.

My obsession worsened because I inevitably stuck out like a sore thumb, in my preppy Polo shirts and Sperry's, and I started to compare myself to all the pretty, curvy girls in my class.

I overheard my crush talk to his friend, about how he probably wasn't going to ask me to prom because my ass wasn't attractive enough compared to this other girl he ended up going with.

It made me re-assess everything about my body—in a way, I switched tracks and I "skinny-shamed" myself into believing that the boys I wanted to date wanted a girl to have an ideal body of someone like Kim Kardashian.

All the boys I encountered in college continued my struggle with body acceptance. Some boys thought I was too fat, some thought I was skinny-fat, some thought I was more skinny than fat but that I didn't have any curves. Some thought I should go run a lap, others thought I should do squats instead, while another laughed when I said I was interested in becoming a Barre instructor because he blatantly asked,

"Aren't all girls who do barre supposed to be like, really skinny?"

It confused me because I truly didn't know what it meant for my body to beautiful.

Why I would only be called beautiful whenever some fuckboy wanted to get me laid, but then he would pretend like he never said that to me after we smashed.

Why I thought some boy didn't want to me to be his girlfriend unless I had a skinny waist, collarbones popping out and a thigh gap.

Why I would have to hear, yet again that I had a pretty face, a pretty smile and a great personality but that my body wasn't just that pretty compared to everything else.

It took me a while to come to the realization that I was only going to be beautiful after self acceptance.

After I stopped comparing myself, and stopped self harming my own body. After I stopped defining happiness in relationships when a boy would call be beautiful—because let's be honest here, a real desperate boy is willing to fuck any obliging girl so everything already seems beautiful to him.

So I left all these toxic relationships I had with inordinate boys who had the nerve to tell me who I had to become.

I learned to laugh at the harsh comments thrown at me, because look—my mom didn't raise a little bitch who cries over them.

I slowly (but surely) started to find the real me.

The real me accepts what my body looks like, including the chubby thighs I used to hate and the broad shoulders that don't so attractive in off-the-shoulder tops.

The real me knows better than to fall for a fuckboy's elaborate compliments because I know they don't really mean it in the way that my future husband would mean it as.

And most importantly, the real me never ever lets some boy tell me what it means to be beautiful.

Because now I look in the mirror, and appreciate how real my body is, instead of pointing out all the parts I hate about it or how it looks nothing like the "dream body" screenshots stored somewhere deep in my iCloud storage.

Not all boys are going to love me, or my body for what it is. And that's ok. Because that won't ever stop me from being who I really am.

Elle Hong
Elle Hong

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

I Am A Hopeless Romantic Living In A World Where One-Night Stands Are The Norm

It's the little things.

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In today's society, it can certainly start to feel like no one takes love seriously anymore.

Whether it's that one couple who has broken up and gotten back together more times than you can count, the two friends-with-benefits no one can figure out, your local womanizer, or just hookups in general, love and lust are a huge part of specifically college life and culture.

As a hopeless romantic, being part of a generation that "just wants to have fun" can be really frustrating, especially when you just want to find something real. It is so easy for people to put on a fake act just to get what they want and sometimes this can be extremely hard to see through. I'm sure we've all had some kind of incident with someone who played nice but had ulterior motives and the sad truth is that it can be impossible to recognize a person's artificiality.

I am a hopeless romantic.

I have always classified myself as such, and it has remained true. Sure, I can make the most of the freedoms I have as a single college woman, but deep down I just want to find my person.

I've had my fair share of letdowns, and I think we all have, but being a hopeless romantic makes it that much more difficult to get past the "what ifs" and fantasies that come along with starting something with someone new. We may already have our hearts set on a person when they decide they've gotten what they wanted and leave.

For me, I find myself caught up in the little things that someone does. I have always been someone who picks up on small details in situations, and sometimes this works against me.

I pick up on the small facial expressions that he may not even realize he is making; the ones that tell you when their guard has been let down, even just for a split second.

I pick up on the way he sits our two cellphones side by side on the nightstand, taking care to line them up perfectly as if that's just their spot.

I pick up on the short moments of laughter where he actually lets himself laugh and forgets about the act.

I pick up on things, and sometimes I end up hurting because of it.

When it comes down to it, though, I wouldn't change the way that I am. I wouldn't change the fact that I find myself in the search for more in a society that mostly only offers me less.

The trait that tends to hurt me most is also the one that I value most. Even if noticing all the little things is something that contributes to my own heartache, I love those moments. There is something beautiful about those tiny things shared by two people, even if the connection ends there.

Sure, it can be hard. But so can everything.

It's just a matter of finding the beauty.

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Dedicate Your Summer To Bettering Yourself For Yourself, Not Your Ex

Why waste energy on an ex who doesn't care about you anymore?

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I'm single for the summer (yet again, no shock there) but this summer there's something in the air that just feels different. It's the feeling of true acceptance of my single status.

Last summer I was single when I really didn't want to be. My heart with still holding out for a guy who wasn't interested in anything more than my friendship. It took me from late March all the way until Halloween to get over those feelings. However, while working through those tough feelings that summer, I came to enjoy my time on my own and not talking to anyone except my best friends. I didn't have to worry about when I'd get a text back, or if I'd be left on read, or who he'd be out with since I wasn't around. The only thing I needed to worry about was my paychecks and tan lines.

Sometimes after breaking things off with someone who you put so much effort into, whether it was a boyfriend, an almost relationship, or even a friend with benefits, it's easy to want to show off on social media and make them regret ever hurting you or ending things. Why? It's a nice little ego boost, sure, but after those few seconds of glee from the fact that you know they've seen and maybe even liked your picture or your tweet, or saw your story on Snapchat, do you still feel happy? No, you go right back to feeling like crap, whether you want to admit it or not. Stop making yourself all about them when that ship has sailed and start being all about you.

Your ex is off doing their own thing, maybe thinking about you, but obviously not enough to want you back in their life the way you used to be. They are probably out there finding a new person to take your spot because they don't have you at their beck and call anymore. If they're also showing off to show you how much better they are without you or to make you jealous...why are you still following them or still participating in this sick little game for attention? Grow up and block them so you don't have to keep seeing their posts, or be adult enough to stop if you're doing the same as well. If it's only you posting, chances are you just look stupid, so stop before you really embarrass yourself. I was that person, and I know first hand how embarrassed I am for acting the way I did.

Summer is synonymous for doing whatever the hell you want. Wear what you want, say what you want, and be the best version of yourself that only a high dose of Vitamin D can bring out. Your ex is an ex for many reasons. You have to set aside the summer for you and what benefits you only. Don't concern yourself with an ex who doesn't care in the least about you anymore. Coming from someone who posted thirst traps aimed at a specific person along with countless shady AF stories on Snap and Insta in the hopes that this one person and their friends would see it, just stop and save yourself the energy as well as regret.

We're all adults, it's time to stop the petty posts and photos. Post your thirst trap for yourself because you're a sexy queen who doesn't need anyone but herself. Once you start focusing on yourself this summer, instead of your ex, you'll realize just have great it feels to truly be free.

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