Body Image Issues


Abby Aguayo (She/Her), Copy Editor

Nothing is more mentally draining than hating the way you look. It can be hard to love yourself in a world where people do not love you back. In other words, body image issues have been becoming a serious problem for all people, especially in today’s society where “thin” is considered prettier. People, including myself, feel that we need to hide our bodies, eat certain ways, wear a certain type of clothing for our body types and sometimes feel pressured  that we need to have “the perfect body” in order to fit in.

Students at Sequoia deal with many different mental illnesses that all relate to body image issues. Some might be eating disorders, unhealthy relations with your body or body dysmorphia. Body Dysmorphia is a common disorder that makes you unable to stop thinking about a certain flaw in your body or make you see a different, not so good perspective of yourself then other people.

“At the age of 12 in 7th grade…I  guess people dressed in different clothes than I did and were a lot skinnier and just looked like something I didn’t,” sophomore Katie Dohn said.  

Having an unhealthy relationship with my body can affect lots of things in everyday life. It makes me want to be excluded from certain events because I don’t want to go through hating myself for the whole day; I try to avoid that feeling as much as I possibly can. It affects my mood when I’m out because I’m thinking about my appearance and how I look. I can never really go out and have a good time because all I’m thinking about is how I look– and not in a good way. I can look in one mirror and see something and 10 minutes later look in the same mirror and see something completely different.

When having an unhealthy relationship with your body, it, in a way, is brainwashing you to think that you can never dress the way you truly want to dress because only “thin people” can dress that way. Whenever you decide to dress in clothes you want, you end up being disappointed and disgusted with yourself because you hate the way you look in it. Sure enough, you end up proving yourself right that only people within the beauty standard can dress that certain way.

“Sometimes I try to go out like in some new clothes I don’t usually go out in but then it bothers me all day and I just am not in the mood anymore to be out with people,” Dohn said.

It’s no secret that students compare themselves to others on a daily basis; it’s part of being a teenager in high school. Comparing yourself to others and the feeling it gives you is like having the feeling that you let yourself down. Having that feeling at school makes it 10 times harder to get through your day because all you want to do is just be invisible and not even show a single piece of skin. 

To help our day out when we feel very insecure, some people often have a certain piece of clothing that helps them feel less insecure. I know for me it’s a nice oversized sweater. For others it could be leggings, sweatpants, zip-up sweaters, etc. I know for me, I always enjoy watching some of my favorite shows and having some snacks. 

“It doesn’t fix my insecurities but it just makes me worry less about how I look. I always wear this black sweater so I guess it lets me be less bothered for the rest of the day because I’m covered and can’t see any of my body,” Dohn said.

Big platforms on social media are body positivity accounts and just celebrities often saying that “you are beautiful no matter what.” To many people, that means nothing because they know how they truly feel and how they truly feel is far from beautiful. Others take it as a nice thing and it helps a lot of people. 

I see it as a way of no comfort. Of course celebrities are going to say that, what else are they gonna say? That you’re ugly? Almost all the famous celebrities that promote those mindsets are the very pretty, tiny, beautiful or handsome, fit people. How could we believe that mindset when those are the people telling it? 

“It doesn’t really take effect because I know I don’t feel that way… and some influencers just have the ‘perfect body’ and sometimes I think that they say it just for fame because they know they are really pretty but at the same time I know some people do have genuine hearts,” Dohn said. 

Body image issues can really have an impact on your life. It makes you mentally exhausted, tired, makes you feel that you’re nothing, draining and tiring. Don’t say that we’re being ridiculous or that we look fine because nothing will ever change that person’s mind, we know how we truly feel.