Love Your Body? What About Love Yourself?

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Guest Writer: Katie Guckien (@Katiegfromkc)

Katie Guckien currently studies elementary education at the University of Missouri, and in the fall of 2014 will attend Semester at Sea. Guckien is from Overland Park, KS just west of the Kansas City area. She likes being lazy, being active, going on long hikes, and watching Netflix. Guckien runs her own blog at http://justyourordinarygirl94.wordpress.com. Opinions are her own. 

You always see articles written by powerful people about how you should love your body no matter if you are short, tall, thick, thin, old, or young. They title these articles: “Self Love” and I am a fan, but saying that loving your body is self love is leaving out an extremely important component; loving yourself, body & soul and everything it means to be you.

Often times loving yourself may be overlooked because it is harder to see who you are in the inside. It’s easier to say love your body because you know exactly what your body looks like, you see yourself everyday in the mirror. So, yes, part of loving yourself is loving your body, but there is so much more than just loving who you are on the outside.

So you should definitely master the art of loving your body and owning how you look no matter how imperfect the magazines say you are, but repeatedly teaching young people to focus on loving your body and rarely teaching them about loving you is supporting the fact that loving your exterior is more important than loving your interior, and that is not what we need in our society.

I love how compelled people are to write about how you are beautiful no matter what anyone else says. I love that we have people fighting for what true beauty really is instead of what the media tells us. I love reading what these brilliant writers have to say, but I also believe we need to incorporate more into this self loving process.

Read the articles that all these amazing writers are composing for you, and listen to what they say and believe in what they say, because what they say is important, but don’t just stop at loving your body because there is so much more to you than your outward appearance.

So learn about yourself, think about who you are and what makes you awesome and learn to love that as well. Don’t ever forget that self love means loving your body and loving your heart, brain, thought-processes, stories, sense of humor, and so much more.

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LYB (Love Your Body)

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Guest Writer: Brittany King (@Brittany_King93)

brittanydking.wordpress.com

Brittany King is a junior at the University of Missouri where she studies communications and fashion merchandising. In her spare time, King enjoys surfing the web on Tumblr, sketching original fashion designs and trying new recipes with friends. Upon graduation, King would like to work in fashion public relations alongside her media idol, Kelly Cutrone.

With magazine headlines like “Drop 10 pounds in a week!” and others proclaiming that “real women have curves,” it can be pretty hard to decipher what look is right for your body, but to me the answer is simple. In short, your weight should be whatever the hell you want it to be.

Now I’m not here to knock those that do their best to exercise at least three times a week, or anyone who watches what they eat (I’m one of them, most of the time) but I am here to explain how loving your body for what it does for you on a daily basis, instead what a number on a scale says, is truly life changing.

Before entering college most of us hear about the dreaded freshman 15, well here at the University of Missouri, it’s called the Mizzou 22, which kind of made me nervous. I never liked my body growing up and it was because those shitty magazines I mentioned earlier made me feel like I had to look like Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera (I’m a 90’s kid if you couldn’t tell). Well, I didn’t look like them and so of course I thought there was something wrong with me.

After my first week of college I literally couldn’t understand how someone could gain weight coming to college, there was so much walking! But once my body got used to the daily walking, the pounds packed on.

%22IN SHORT, YOUR WEIGHT SHOULD BEBy the time I came home from winter break I had gained the Mizzou 22 and then some and it was not a good feeling. So I did something about it. I threw out every crappy thing in my dorm room, started using the million dollar recreational complex my student fees pay for and I began counting calories (I realize that last one isn’t for everyone, to each their own). In short, it worked. I was dropping weight consistently week after week and it felt great, but I still wasn’t happy.

Much to my surprise, seeing a smaller number on the scale didn’t make me feel any better, in fact, most days I felt worse because I had changed what I thought was the problem, but was still unhappy.

It was because I didn’t love myself, I didn’t appreciate my body for the awesome things it does, I was relying on a three digit number to make me happy instead of making myself happy and appreciating everything else that was going well in my life.

That’s the one thing the magazines and diet pills/plans are missing, self love. It’s easy to have positive thoughts when you’re continuously losing weight week after week, but what about that first week when you don’t lose, or what if you’re in a month long slump?

Weight loss is just as much about what you lose as it is about what you gain, but if you don’t start learning to love yourself as you are right now, you’re still going to feel pretty crappy even if you do hit your weight loss goals.

I’ve definitely gotten off track, I’ve gained some of the weight I lost back, but I’m okay because I started focusing on how I felt every day instead of letting the scale tell me how to feel and that has truly made all the difference.

I now believe in the radical power of self love. There is truly no better feeling than waking up and loving what you see when you look in the mirror whether you just got a bad haircut or have on a full face of makeup. You could lose all the weight in the world, and have a body like your biggest celebrity idol, but if you don’t love yourself for who you are today, right this moment, you’ll never be happy.

Tweet @BLovelace_Jr or Follow My Instagram @Blovelacejr

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Start a conversation! I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments below 🙂

 

Mayor Tells Teens to ‘Grow a Pair’

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Hamilton’s comment provides a narrow-minded, simplistic view of an everyday occurrence of bullying in the world. There is not a one size fits all approach to dealing with this issue.Photo by Twentyfour_Students

Porterville Mayor Cameron Hamilton sparked major outrage during a city council meeting after he professed his dislike for the term bullying as a mantra for all the “ills of the world.”

“I’m against bullying, but I’m getting damn tired of it being used as a mantra for everything, and the ills of the world,” Hamilton, according to KFSN ABC 30, said,  “when all most people just have to grow a pair, and stick up for them damn selves.”

Hamilton’s comment came after a city councilwoman asked the council to support a program, which would place off-campus safe zones for teens who were being bullied after school.

Hamilton’s comment provides a narrow-minded, simplistic view of an everyday occurrence of bullying in the world. There is not a one size fits all approach to dealing with this issue. Not all environments facilitate the conditions to stand up for yourself, and placing the blame on the victim for not doing so is ignorant.

When I was 9 years old, I was harassed by students because of the texture of my hair. It was dark, tightly curled, completely different from the vast majority of white students in my class. Some students agreed that I must be a sheep because my hair matched the texture of one on a girl’s farm.

I was excluded.

It was the first time I remember being told I was different. I remember being emotionally confused. I remember saying “I am not a sheep. I like my hair.” But the other students “kindly” convinced me otherwise. Yes, eventually I was able to stand up for myself, and again grow to like my hair. But, that took the process of understanding the world, and gaining more independent sense of self-esteem. This took years.

My situation did not match severity of other children/teens out there. I had loving parents. I had resources available to me. I was not in a physically abusive situation.

Sometimes standing up for yourself may mean getting kicked out of your house. Sometimes standing up for yourself may mean getting beaten to death. This seems like a tough decision to make for a young teenager.

Furthermore, Hamilton’s remarks provides a very conflicting message for teenagers out there. To simply stand up for yourself means to not only stand up to others, but yourself. You not only have to combat the voices attacking you, but the voices inside your head that wants to believe its true. This can put a psychological number on anyone.

To simply grow a pair is asking a lot from anyone, even Mayor Hamilton.