The Secret Illness


 ¨Over 20 million women have had an eating disorder¨

We have all faced personal encounters of hating the way we look. Everyday we’re faced with the struggle of our self-image. We wake up and wonder if we’re good enough for society. We look in the mirror and don’t like what we see. We’re not comfortable in our own skin. We try to distract ourselves with social media, but find ourselves feeling worse after seeing the insanely beautiful models and celebrities. We often wonder to ourselves why we can’t be like them. Our stomachs growl but we won’t give into the pain because if we do we will only feel more pain from the shame of our body. The three of us struggle with not feeling good enough everyday.

Eating disorders. They cause the people affected by them to turn away in shame and in defeat. They show us videos at school to look for signs of someone with a eating disorder, but never actually show us how to handle the situation or confront the victim of an eating disorder. So why do they expect things to change just by showing a video? It’s time to make a change so that everyone struggling with body issues will have people who support and love them for who they are.  So that they know and we know, you’re not alone. At some point, haven’t you faced a problem thinking you are alone during it?

Image result for eating disorders

Furthermore, the expectations of women are unrealistic, causing things such as eating disorders to occur. Studies show that 98% of women feel immense pressure to look a certain way.  Have you ever felt like the world is criticizing everything you do? The three of us want to change things for the better. In all honesty, things have gotten progressively worse in this world. Not only do we have to worry about our weight and size, but everything else in between. We are expected to have a small waist, big breasts, a big butt, a pretty face, flawless skin, a thigh gap, long legs, be tan, and have long beautiful hair.  They want us to show skin but not be “slutty”, to naturally have a look that can only be achieved by wearing makeup without wearing any. Women can’t leave the house without being harassed or judged. They say women need to be independent, but we can’t go out alone. They want women to look different from each other, but then again want us to look exactly like models in a magazine. We are expected to know how to cook and clean. Since the only thing women are capable of doing is staying home and taking care of the kids, right?  So why is it okay for men to be rude and take advantage of women, but if a women did that to a man she would be labeled a “whore”? These unrealistic expectations all lead back to why over 20 million women having an eating disorder. At some point, we have all thought that we aren’t good enough and the labels given to us by society only make it worse. This drives women to feel the need to starve themselves just to look good.

We conducted a survey to show how high school girls view themselves. After reviewing the information from the survey, we found that most eating disorders are prevalent in high school girls. As you can see on the chart below, 44% of girls are always self-conscious about their body. There are many reasons that this occurs, one of them being the pressure put on girls by society. High school girls are placed with societal pressures that make them think looking a certain way or being different is bad. We need to start spreading a new message that it’s okay to look different and do different things, as long as you love it. Everyone needs to learn and respect each others’ physical characteristics. Even if someone is a different size than someone else. Also, not everyone understands that many high school students become depressed and have anxiety because of the pressures they face from school and others. These are all things that will lead back to conditions like eating disorders. Hopefully we can all unite together to spread a new, powerful message that you should love your body the way it is. It’s okay to be different and love who you are!

All in all, if you or someone you know has been affected by an eating disorder, body issues, or even just has low self-esteem, don’t be afraid to talk to someone. Spread the word and get involved if you know someone with those issues. Be a friend, educate others, and create a new message to tell women that they are all perfect just the way they are.

Have you ever looked in the mirror and felt that you’re not pretty enough? Or maybe that you just aren’t good enough? Please share your story with us below! eating-disorder-graph


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