Hey folks, it’s been a minute since I posted anything but after seeing the devastatingly sad reports of another 20-something reality TV star taking their own life, I had an urge to write something.
As you may well know, I have struggled with accepting my physical appearance my entire life, and my mental health has suffered as a direct result of this. My body has changed more times than I can count due to a number of things. From disordered eating, binging, starving myself, calorie counting, diet shakes, and excessive eating – it has taken me almost 24 years to begin to uncover where these issues stemmed from, and most importantly I’m now starting to appreciate, love and feed my body in a healthy and kind way. But what about other people? Women and men, teenagers and children who are just as susceptible to experiencing similar issues to what I have? How are their lives being molded? Why are suicide and mental health issues so common in the youth of today? My theory includes two things – physical standards and life goals.
Our standards, morals, aspirations, dreams and goals are destroying us. Our happiness is no longer rooted in our relationships and passion for the things we truly love. Instead, it is being led by our desire to look perfect, be financially successful and appear (online) to be living the ‘best life’ we possibly can. So where do the issues come from? Well, none of these ‘ideals’ technically involve being happy. In fact, our desire to attain a perfect physical appearance and virtual one can be the complete opposite. It can be agonising. With gruelling workout routines, calorie counting, the constant need to update our online feeds, it can get fucking exhausting.
So, let’s start with the physical side of social standard. Our minds are being fed such warped ideas of what is ‘normal’, created by an army of reality TV stars who are setting the standards for young people. But what’s now coming to light is that companies are literally FEEDING these reality stars with free procedures, creating an unattainable and expensive ideal for young women and men all around the world. And, of course, affecting these young stars too – having to live up to these totally crazy standards. Boob jobs, butt jobs, veneers, lip fillers, cheek implants, nose jobs, botox, skinny teas, hair transplants, eye lifts, nose filler, chin filler, jaw filler – it’s no WONDER we feel shit about ourselves when the people we look up to no longer even look like themselves.
The saddest part is that these physical standards don’t just affect the young reality stars of today, they’re spreading across the world, affecting US. These procedures and surgeries are becoming such a normal and accepted part of our reality, that we, our natural selves, created through love and designed oh so incredibly by our DNA, no longer feel good enough.
Of course, physical appearance isn’t the only thing that’s shaping a generation of self-hate and self-doubt. Fame is yet another goal that so many young individuals are striving for. These days, fame is so accessible, due to the likes of social media and the creation of new careers including vloggers, Instagram models and influencers. The fact is you can earn millions of pounds if you look and act the part, so why the hell wouldn’t that seem appealing to young people? I totallllly understand the appeal, but is this truly what makes us happy? Are these the things that set our soul on fire – for more than just a fleeting moment?
When the popularity fades and we inevitably age and our bodies start to change – who will there be left to please? The answer: the person in the mirror. You need to be happy with the person staring back at you and not just in a physical sense.
I could write for hours about this subject, but my final comments are that the standards young people set themselves are so atrociously high, and almost inhumane, that living up to anything but that is a considered a failure. Technically, we’re all failing. And this failure is undoubtedly affecting our mental health.
Let’s change it – starting with YOU.