Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923
By Abigail Ormiston, Staff Writer
Most of you have probably seen the Jubilee Project video, where they have interviewed 50 people including children.
In the video, there was one question asked to each person: “If you could change one thing about your body, what would you change?”
It was interesting to me that the adults in the video picked at what they saw as flaws, such as a large forehead, puffy face, or big ears.
The children in the video didn’t want to change anything or, if they did, it was things like getting a mermaid tail or a shark mouth. I started to think about how I see myself now compared to as I did when I was younger.
There are so many things I see flawed with myself. I don’t like how my hair curls or that I have ‘fat thighs’.
When I was younger, I didn’t dislike those things; so I wonder what changed.
I was that girl that developed early in about 5th grade—I was about 11. That’s when I started to pick apart my self-image. I started to compare myself to others around me, when my body started to change. I guess that’s probably the age where most people lose their self-confidence.
I was always on the bigger side too, which wasn’t too helpful to my self-esteem.
I wasn’t as pretty as my friends were during middle school and high school.
Maybe I shouldn’t care how others look and how I look compared to them as long as I like how I look. Because of how our society is, though, we constantly try to match ourselves to impossible levels.
So why do we do this?
It’s probably because of the vision of Hollywood stars or the Photoshopped magazine covers. People believe they can look like no one really does.
Included in this problem is the pressure to continue to look young. Near the end of the Jubilee Project video, an older woman starts talked about why she never kept up with dying her hair when it grayed or being scared about the wrinkles forming. She wasn’t afraid because it was a part of life. The woman ended with saying she wouldn’t be her if she kept changing herself and not accepting the natural changes.
That sentence alone is powerful.
It reminds me of a conversation my roommate and I have often. She tells me that I shouldn’t make changes to myself unless the changes are for me. She means, if I’m doing something to please others, it’s not worth it.
I started to think about why I do certain things. I often have changed my hair color and asked myself why. I do it because it’s a way of expressing myself. I dress in shirts that have bands I listen to on them. I do this because it’s something, I enjoy. I write because I enjoy it. I do many things because those things are what make me happy.
After watching that video, though, I feel inclined to start thinking better about myself. I shouldn’t hate myself because others didn’t like me or I didn’t look like them.
I know it won’t matter too much what I look like now when I’m older and thinking about it makes me wonder why I care about it now.
As a college sophomore, I think I’m going to start now and stop comparing myself to everyone else. I will learn to love myself for every curve, scar, blemish and curl that I have.
When I have children someday, I don’t want them picking out silly things that aren’t actually flaws.
If we start to change how we see ourselves, maybe it’ll help others see how good they really are too. It’s a small step, but eventually maybe it could change the way society portrays people.