Opinion by MargaretCusick
Rain hitting my windshield played as background music to my daily routine of staring in my phone mirror memorizing all of the features I wish I could change. As I begun my trudge up soph lot, I stared at my ankles wrapped in Nike socks that are two sizes too small. “Are my ankles too big? Why does my calf fall out of my sock like that?” I wondered to myself.
During my first class sophomore year, the sound of laughter silenced my racing thoughts of self doubt, until I raised my hand to use the bathroom. The girl sitting next to me also had her hand raised, but her fingers were slimmer than mine. As I walked through the empty hallways, I gaze at my reflection in the window studying how I should walk to look the least awkward.
Washing my hands, my head raises to make eye contact with myself. I turned to the side and examined my skirt that is always failing to stay buttoned. I take a deep breath and stretch my sweatshirt over my stomach, hiding yet another insecurity of mine.
I’ll tell you something about myself that probably won’t surprise anyone who has seen me at school- it takes me about 10 minutes to get ready in the morning. About 3 of those minutes I spend staring in the mirror at my body, wondering what I can do to look beautiful. There’s one thing about myself that I have always known to be true: I am skilled at acting like I don’t care what I look like when I actually do. A lot. In reality, almost everyone does.
Since freshman year I have walked the halls believing that I would never be one of those girls that you look at and think “wow, she’s so pretty.” Somewhere in the last five months, I have realized almost everyone holds the mentality that they’re not beautiful enough.
Senior Elin Siedlik reflects on her younger years when she didn’t care so much about her looks and notes that “as you grow older you start to care more about your insecurities.” Siedlik has dealt with insecurities throughout her life just like the rest of us.
Within her soccer career in grade school and as a freshman, Siedlik said “I was too skinny, and I always felt not as progressed as my teammates when I played soccer.” If you asked any of her teammates, though, they would disagree. Siedlik realized, “at the end of the day, it was myself holding me down.”
Eventually, she learned to look at her reflection, see her jersey in the mirror, and love the body that was wearing it.
Junior Mia Ramirez has realized one of the major issues causing so many people to have poor self image. “Society has projected unrealistic perfect bodies and impossible versions of bodies no one can get to.” When Ramirez finds herself developing negative thoughts about her body she remembers that “everyone’s too worried about themselves to worry about what you look like.”
She has grown to be more confident in her own skin by surrounding herself with loved ones who make her feel beautiful just as she is, beyond the boundary of her body.
Entering my senior year of high school, I will walk through the halls not caring how awkward my walk is, how bloated I look that day, or how big my fingers or legs are.
The Marian community has shifted my view of beauty. I now place value on my virtues and characteristics that make up everything I love about myself, rather than my looks.
When I look in the mirror now, I see hands that have touched the things I love. I see a mouth that has spoken to some of the most intelligent and kindhearted people this world has to offer. I see a body that allows me to live an exciting, wonderful life that I am eager to continue living.