Body image is tough, because you have one look, but in the society that we live in, we're expected to have another. We're surrounded by Photoshopped models and celebrities that are always expected to look perfect and it rubs off on us as well. We're constantly trying to appear perfect, in terms of more than just our size and shape. Celebrities are criticized by the media when they put on weight and every little bit about them is hyper-analyzed. "Your lips are too small, your cheekbones aren't prominent enough, your thighs are too big, your chest is too small," the words circle around us, constantly plaguing us into believing that we're not beautiful enough. That we're not good enough. But let me tell you, you absolutely are. You're more than good enough. People of all ages and all genders struggle with their body images, but this is especially prominent as a teenager or young adult, which is why it's a part of the Peter Pan Diaries.

Here's a brief summary of what the Peter Pan diaries are if you haven't been keeping up with the mini-series:

The Peter Pan diaries is a mini-series covering the various struggles, ups and downs, and giving guidance on the teen years. The Peter Pan series is for the people out there that are growing up, mostly aimed at the young adult years, but how they might not necessarily be ready to grow up yet, almost like Peter Pan. They're meant to help make the transition a little bit easier and also allow me to give my personal experiences and my perspectives on some struggles and controversial topics regarding teen life and being a young adult. 

Body image is one of the primary things that teenagers, young adults, and even fully grown adults deal with. In the world that we live in, the way that you look is highly influential on how you feel. There's a lot of body standards that people are expected to live up to, male or female. Although there tends to be more of an emphasis on body image for females, it is still very well possible for males to struggle with body image. A lot of the body standards that people are expected to live up to tend to be kind of contrasting, as body standards constantly change with time. (I LOVE this Buzzfeed video about the ideal body types for women throughout the ages) However, these standards often plague people into making them think about everything that they don't have, believing that they're not beautiful enough since they might not have what the models have.

Sometimes we just get caught up in all of the things that we're missing rather than what we have. When I was younger, all I ever wanted was wavy hair, I hated my straight hair. I would braid my hair to get it wavy, since I thought that straight hair was boring. But eventually I learned to love my straight hair, as there were so many people out there that had what I wanted, but instead wanted what I had. The thing is that we always want what we don't have. We see pictures of models and celebrities and as we compare ourselves to them, all we see is what they have and what we don't. But why are we even envying the body images others when in reality, other people are envying what you have?

Thankfully, I've never really had the struggle with body image really plague me, but that doesn't mean that I don't have insecurities and such, I just learn to live with them. The thing is, I've been blessed with being very thin in a society where there is a drifting belief that skinny = beautiful. But that's not always the case. I always think to myself, what if it was the other way around? I would be the one getting shamed for my body and trying to change myself to fit the ideals of others. The thing is that I wasn't always like this, I wasn't always thin. Although I don't have a crazy inspiring story, I wasn't always as skinny as I am now. During my elementary school to early middle school years, I was a little pudgy. I wasn't overweight, but I was on the heavier end of healthy, bordering towards the overweight category. And honestly? I wasn't that happy with it. I felt like my stomach was too big and honestly, my cheeks were a little pudgy. I think that the clothes that I wore didn't necessarily help either, as it was the age of Abercrombie, when I wore tighter fitting clothes, thinking that they were cool, but they really weren't. Not only were they just not very nice clothes, but they didn't fit my body type. I wasn't wearing the clothes that are most flattering on me. It put me down that I was a little pudgy, and although I eventually grew out of it, I still look back on myself and think about how fat my cheeks look and know unflattering I appear in those tighter fitting clothes that weren't for my body type. I think that my biggest mistake wasn't that I didn't lose weight, but that I tried to force myself into clothes that weren't really for me. I tried to conform to what was popular instead of picking out things that I really wanted and would have looked good in. 

I think that one of the takeaways from that story is that not everyone has the same body type and it means that we might not all be fit for the same clothes. Don't try to force yourself into something that just isn't for you. This goes for trying to physically force yourself into a smaller size or wearing clothes that other people think is cool, even if they're not the most flattering for your shape and size. I know some people that are just dying to fit into smaller sizes, believing that it will make them feel better about themselves, believing that it will make them more beautiful. Wearing a size small doesn't make you any happier, especially if that's not your size. And honestly? I hate when people complain about how they wish they were skinnier. Because everyone has their own beautiful bodies that are perfect the way that they are. Why would you force yourself to change? It's like trying to genetically modify a beautiful rose to turn it into a daisy. They're both beautiful flowers, but why would you ever try and change it into something that it's not? 

And this brings me to dieting. I'm personally not a fan of dieting. I feel like dieting can be done well in terms of nutrition, but dieting does not mean that you eat less. I hate when I see people that say that they're on diets, but in reality, their diet means skipping a meal or eating barely anything.

I don't know how people can go without eating, because food is so freakin' good. In addition to that, food is good for you! Starving yourself will do you no good, physically or mentally. If you want to go on a diet, I believe that you should go on a diet based on nutrition rather than the amount of food. Eating healthy is fantastic and I think that going on a diet to eat better is a fantastic idea. Maybe you eat more greens or you eat less red meat, but do it for your health, not for your size. I believe that the only reason that trying to lose weight should be a goal is if it is harming your health. If your doctor recommends it, then it's for your health, it's something that will help you in the long run. But if you doctor doesn't recommend to you to diet, or you're not overweight in a harming way, then it's not a priority to worry about weight. In addition, exercise is another thing. Whenever I say that I exercise, people might say to me, "Why do you need to exercise? You're so thin!" And honestly, that drives me crazy. Exercising does not mean that you are thin. I rarely ever exercise, which is absolutely horrible for my health, so that's not the reason why I'm thin. When I exercise, I exercise for my health, so that I can be more fit and in good shape, not because I'm trying to lose weight. I believe that exercise's number one priority should be for being healthy. Of couse I need to exercise! I don't exercise to be thin, I do it for health! And it drives me mad when people tell me that I don't need to because they don't understand the importance of exercise.

Okay, back to insecurities! Although I do fit the body expectation of a thin frame, being thinner also isn't always as glamorous as it seems at first sight. I know someone who is so thin that she refuses to wear skirts or anything that shows her ankles, because people used to tease her about how small they were. She is so self-conscious about her legs and her ankles that she can't even bring herself to show them. She buys specific shoes to try not to emphasize them and it's definitely one of her body insecurities. Insecurities aren't impossible, even if you do seem to fit the body expectations at first glance. People tell me that they wish that they were as skinny as I am, but the thing is that it's just DNA. It's just how I was born, I can't control it, I can't force myself to gain weight, just like you can't force yourself to change either, so why not learn to embrace it? It's just the way that I am.

The truth is, everyone has their own insecurities about their body, even your favorite celebrities. I've had some body insecurities about my eyes in specific. What you probably don't realize is that my eyes aren't actually even. One of my eyes is slightly smaller than the other and actually bends in a little more. For example, when I wear mascara, my eyelashes curl inwards to one eye but curl outwards to another. This has been an insecurity of mine, specifically in the past, since I was always hyper-aware of these so called imperfections. In pictures, specifically when I smile, it's much more obvious that one eye is smaller, which always made me feel insecure, but lately, I've been letting it go. I'm aware of the fact that they're not 'perfect' but I'm not going to let it get to me. 

Why are we so caught up in our insecurities and what we don't have? Why don't we appreciate what we do have? I have nice, natural straight hair that other people would kill for. I don't have to use a straightener, and I never have to worry about it getting out of hand. And I'm so lucky for that. I'm healthy! We totally underrate healthiness in terms of body image. I've read stories about how girls and boys diet so much that they become underweight (maybe anorexia, bulimic, or just plain underweight) and they love the fact that they're underweight, because it makes them feel good, it becomes part of their identity. But the truth is, that health should always come before body image. In addition, I have a small chest, which in this world can be seen as an imperfection. I've had so many people talk about how they think that they're small chested when I'm way smaller than they are. But I've come to terms with it. I have my own benefits, wearing bralettes, being able to run without pain, not having to wear a bra with a lot of clothes, and more. I'm putting my own positive spin on that things that can potentially cause insecurities.

The best thing that you can do with your insecurities is to not 'put up with them', but look for things about your insecurities that make them better. These are the things that make you unique! Don't abandon them. Look on the bright side, what is good about the things that make you insecure? How do they make you unique?

 I asked some bloggers to pitch in and give their take (including personal experiences) on body image and this is what they said:

"The best thing I've learned is to never say something to myself or about myself [in terms of body image] that I wouldn't say to someone else! When you learn to treat yourself as nicely as you treat others, your internal conversation shifts!"

"Body image has never really been something I struggled with as much as a lot of other girls, which is something I'm truly blessed to say. I struggle more with confidence issues in terms of socializing, but, that being said, there are still many times I feel ugly, gross, or unhappy with my appearance. One thing in particular I've always struggled with is my VERY curly hair. When I was little, my hair was stick straight, but when I hit puberty, it was suddenly frizzy and unmanageable and ugly (I thought, at least). For years and year I have struggled with learning to love it, and it was really only the last couple years or so that I've learned to tame it and feel comfortable with it. Now (if I can get the frizz to calm down), it's one of my favorite physical attributes! Y'all, I cannot stress enough that you are SO beautiful and SO loved. Some of the most beautiful, wonderful people I know struggle so much with body image, and it truly breaks my heart to see girls down on themselves about how they look. You are beautiful, you are loved, and you are really stinkin' awesome, friend."
- Alison (Beauty and Blazers)

The point is that getting comfortable in your own skin means that you accept your insecurities and hopefully embrace them. Don't try to force something beautiful into something else. Let's go back to the flowers. No matter what kind of flower you are, you're beautiful in your own way. Don't try to change a rose into a daisy, because the only thing that it would do would ruin something gorgeous. Don't turn into someone that just conforms to what everyone else looks like. What's the fun in that? Why would you want to look exactly like everyone else? Part of being comfortable in your own skin means being your own individual. It means that you are unique and you are your own individual person. Because today I challenge you to find one thing that makes you insecure and think about all of the ways that it makes you, you. You will be with yourself for the rest of your life, so why spend your life hating the only body that you have? This is your life, your body, and this is you, and being comfortable in your own skin means loving your own body, your own life, and loving yourself. 


  1. Yes yes yes to everything you said! I think this topic is so important and you totally nailed it, girl. :)