I wrote this poem a few months ago about the self-hate culture that we have as a society
Amongst teenagers, 50% of girls and 30% of boys use unhealthy methods such as skipping meals, fasting and vomiting to control their weight, and 90% of teenagers are unhappy with their body shape. So why is this?
The media is easy to blame as magazines and social media obviously promote the unrealistic body standards that we all know too well: skinny, yet curvy, flawless, yet messy – an attempt at relatability yet still maintaining the Photoshop polished look. It’s easy to get caught up in these fake images, it’s easy to believe that they’re real, to believe that celebrities are naturally perfect, but the truth is it’s all an illusion.
But there are surprisingly many further reasons to why we teenagers are insecure about how we look. Conflicting ideologies about beauty, the growing anxiety trend and being judged on how much skin we show, to name a few. We need to stop the belief that a girl’s worth is in how much makeup she wears or how short her skirt is. We need to stop the belief that a boy’s worth is in his strength.
In my experience, we are our own worst enemies. Every day in this school, I see people making fun of each other for achieving, for being individuals and sometimes just for being. Research shows that we are happier when we boost each other up and more miserable when we tear people down and criticise unnecessarily.
I believe that as a society, we should promote a new way. Instead of tearing each other down for what we wear, for how our hair looks, for our skin, for our body, for our personalities, for our intelligence, for our motivation, we should empower each other to do what makes us happy, encourage each other to do our own best. To not compete. To build with each other. To be the best people that we can be. Make a stand for yourself. Be proud of who you are. Don’t be afraid to do what makes you happy. Form a culture in this generation that encourages self-love not self-hate. Help me to acknowledge that we’re in a mess, for love to replace hate.