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Girls and the Body Image Struggle

            We live in a society ruled by the media. At every turn we're bombarded with images of what a girl is supposed to look like, what she's supposed to wear, and how she's supposed to act. Models range from stick thin to plus size, with no representation of average size six girls to be found. All around the world, girls are starving themselves to look a certain way, with terms like "thigh gap" and "collarbones" running rampant in their minds. But why? What are those things really worth?.
             All too often, I'll be sitting around with my friends, when one of them starts complaining about her body. "My thighs are too big!" exclaims the girl on my right, and pretty soon the girl on my left chimes in with "Your thighs are perfect, but have you seen my stomach?" That one small complaint sets off a chain reaction among the group. By the end of the discussion, there is not one person left who has not bashed her body. We reflect on those shopping trips that left us in devastation, crying tears of frustration because we didn't fit into jeans sized a certain number and our usual size dress left us squeezed so tight we were barely able to breathe. We fail to realize that these numbers are just that; numbers. It is not until we assign them a value to our self-worth that we leave the store feeling downtrodden and disgusting.
             It's considered normal to complain about your body, to have low self-esteem, to suddenly go on a fad diet that could be potentially detrimental to your health just to shed those few extra pounds. Every day, more girls are being diagnosed with eating disorders while still more suffer in the silence of their own home, forbidding themselves from the nourishment of their own pantries. Gym memberships are purchased every day by girls who run miles and miles on treadmills and still find themselves in the same place they started, simply because they can't learn to love themselves.

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