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    Mixed Signals About Their Bodies Are Being Sent To Women Worldwide

    Do you really need to drop ten pounds to love yourself?

    If you haven't been living under a rock for the past sixty years, you've seen fashion magazines. Whether at the beach, by the register at the grocery, or in your hands, you've seen the graceful, flawless women beaming at you with blurbs of text floating next to their heads proclaiming "The Truth About Juice Cleanses" and "How to Get a Bikini Body in Just Ten Days!" This is a nuisance, of course, but then, on the same magazine, you'll see "Dress for YOU" and "Loving Your Body 101". Now, come on, these two don't really go together, do they? If you aren't a Victoria's Secret Angel or Cara Delevigne, what are you supposed to do? Do you get, in the wise words of Katy Perry, "toned, tan, fit and ready," or do you learn to accept yourself with whatever your perceived "flaws" are?

    For me, I travel in cycles. One day I'll look in the mirror and think, "Wow. I love my body and I'm going to eat an entire bowl of queso and no one can stop me." The very next day I'll look in the same mirror at the same body and think, "Wow. Today I'm going to cut all carbs out of my diet and also start P90X. Maybe I'll run a marathon. Let's go!" Then, in about a week, I'll come to the realization that no one has time for a social life, a career, sleep, AND two hours of P90X. I am not a time traveler and that simply isn't possible. I'll also decide that I've earned a doughnut for my hard work. It will be delicious and I'll eat more. I'll cycle right back to stage one. "My body is smokin' and I want that doughnut!"

    I know I'm not the only one who goes through the Circle of Body Acceptance. Much like the Circle of Life, it moves us all. Part of me wants to blame this on society, and the media especially. When we're children, we play with Barbie dolls that have perfectly unattainable bodies. This makes us want to be skinny and fit and just like her. Then you hear All About That Bass on the radio, and you turn it up, and you remember that you don't want to change a thing about your body. We have plus sized models on magazine covers, but we have tabloids body-shaming celebrities for having a tiny amount of fat. We complain because models are unhealthy weights and set unrealistic and dangerous standards for the youth of today, but the same models walk the runway on fashion week! How is an underweight or overweight woman supposed to know how to feel about her body when society is playing tug-of-war with her thoughts?

    Of course, blaming all of this on the media is simply a way to exculpate myself from blame. If the swinging pendulum in my head is because of the media, it isn't my fault... Right? Wrong. My personal thought pattern goes something like this. "If I'm skinny, maybe I'll get the job, or the guy. Maybe I'll have more friends. maybe people will look at me differently. Maybe I will look at myself differently." But then I think, "Shouldn't people love me for who I am inside instead of how I look? Also, diets suck, and soda tastes great. Shouldn't I love who I am no matter what, anyway?" And then I realize that I lack resolve, and maybe I should lose a few pounds. It's a vicious cycle.

    Here's my final take on the matter. Every man and woman and everyone in between should absolutely adore their body. it's beautiful. That being said, being underweight or overweight can pose serious risks like diabetes and heart problems, or simply not having the ability to walk up the stairs. If your weight is affecting you or the ones you love, then maybe it is time for a change. If it's not, and if you're comfortable in your own skin, more power to you! If you want to make a change and get fit, I'm backing you all the way! The moral of the story, and the only undeniable truth I've gotten out of this is that it's your body to do with as you please, and that you're beautiful regardless of your size.