Mental health issues: body image

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The first and the most important fact to remember is that our body shape doesn't influence your intelligence and ambitions.

Have you ever postponed your life? Not wearing your favourite dress, avoiding meeting friends, entering into relationships? If that annoying thought, “I’m not good enough for that now,” follows you every single time you want to enjoy the moment – then you probably have.

Sometimes your reflection in the mirror, random photos or people’s words bring us negative emotions. It not only affects our mood but also influences the perception of who we really are. A distorted view of ourselves is one of the most notable reasons for depression and mental disorders.

The first and the most important fact to remember is that our body shape doesn’t influence your intelligence and ambitions.

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We build a self-image relying on the thoughts of other people and constantly suffer from it. Society makes us go through some difficult challenges; we are bullied at school, laughed at work, left by our friends and lovers. We blame our body, beat it, exhaust it in the gym, forget to feed it throughout the day. But our body is a home for the soul and mind. If we mistreat one of the components, the other two will suffer. That means that if people make us think we don’t deserve to be loved, it will lead to troubles in all spheres of life.

The real secret of self-image hides in the structure of the word “self-image” itself. It’s our opinion about ourselves. And it should never be influenced by family, friends or people we know.

My story began in high school in Ukraine. Some classmates hated me for being “fat,” others just supported them by treating me as a recluse. I never participated in class activities, I was afraid to answer during lessons or even talk with people around me. That’s when my mind assumed the wrong thought that still ruins my life sometimes. I believed that a slim body meant happiness. But as it turned out some time later - it doesn’t. During my last school year, in one month, I lost 17 kilograms. I was eating only pea soup without potatoes, I could hardly warm up my hands, and my only thought was to lose one more kg. My parents were crying and begging me to start eating at least twice a day. But I hated myself and tried to destroy everything that reminded me of my old image. I was happy, but it was ephemeral. Only now I understand all the harm it brought to my mental and physical health.

There’s one thing that should be known to every person who doesn’t love themselves: Your body is your power and it’s up to you to decide whether to use it for your benefit or against yourself. It’s absolutely impossible to get a second chance after killing your health with never-ending diets.

Lastly, if you are being bullied, remember - when people see something they don’t have or someone who has potential, they learn about their vulnerable points and hit as hard as they can to destroy. But the best revenge is to show stability and power in achieving better results every day. Self-love is the key.

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.