I am a 15-year-old girl living in America, and I am very involved and interested in fashion and modern media. Of course, I am constantly surrounded by fake images of men and women who are photoshopped to the point where it’s almost humorous, and when I’m online — where I spend most of my time — I tend to find pictures of people that seem too good to be true. I am only 15 years old, and I have been brainwashed in the past by flawless people on the front of magazine covers and billboards.
When I was about 12, I started thinking that my body was weird, disproportionate, and flawed because of what I was surrounded by. I thought that I was abnormal, and I tried SO hard to perfect my figure before I realized that it didn’t matter. With their perfect skin and perfect facial features, it’s hard to accept that the people we see on the covers of magazines are not what real people look like.
Although they’re not perfect, real bodies are GORGEOUS! Even if you have overly red skin, bumpy skin, very long arms, or even no arms, your body is amazing! Each and every day we wake up, and our bodies keep us safe from harmful things and provide our souls with a wonderful home. Bodies are beautifully poetic, and they are the most fantastic things in the world. You shouldn’t worry about thinness or extra body hair or whether you have a thigh gap or not. You should love yourself and come to terms with the way you look because, trust me, you are gorgeous.
One thing a lot of people don’t understand is that pointing out and shaming people for being bony or too skinny is wrong. Skinny is also a body type, and just because you can see someone’s spine or ribs does not mean that they’re unhealthy! The same goes for someone who is more heavy-set; just because they have a little extra weight does not mean that they’re unhealthy. Healthy is beautiful, but the power and motivation an unhealthy person can contain is amazingly mind-blowing. My mother, (pictured right) has struggled with diabetes for about 13 years. She is probably the most beautiful and strong-willed woman I have ever met, despite her condition and weight. You can still be beautiful, even if you have a birth defect, a disease, a disorder, or anything else that society has used to make you feel less appealing.
Another thing that’s commonly misunderstood is the way that men look. Men don’t always have to be extremely muscular, and they don’t have to have chiseled features. Men age like women, and a lot of people don’t realize that men’s bodies are portrayed EXTREMELY different in media than they actually are in real life.
I have asked a few of my friends to send in pictures of their favorite body parts and their faces without makeup, etc. etc. I have even submitted some of my own!
All of the pictures in this article have either been submitted to me or taken by me in hopes of showing you how real people look and opening your eyes to the beauty of the human body.