June 20, 2024

Many young boys and girls today are obsessed with body image and the way they look. They tend to compare themselves to others, wishing their waists are tinier, their thighs thinner, their arms leaner and what not. I used to fall into the trap of comparing myself to others, physically and in terms of other aspects of my life. Wanting to be someone else – prettier, smarter, richer, happier, etc. is a guaranteed way to feel resentment and discouragement even in the strongest individuals.
This behavior of always comparing one’s self to others has become so pervasive especially because of wrong perceptions we get from social media. Reality is, everyone has his/her own issues. Just because someone is in good shape doesn’t mean that his/her life is perfect. Everyone has his/her share of problems, failures and struggles just like anyone else. Looks are just one facet of the person. Placing too much weight on how your body is lacking in comparison to someone else’s only makes you wallow in self-pity. In situations in which you don’t feel to par, take a moment to remember the good qualities that you have and revel in them. Consider these good qualities to realize you don’t have it so bad, after all.
The desire to be like others, to stray towards something other than one’s true nature, is not only harmful to our mental and emotional states, but it is also wasteful. If you become focused in becoming (or wanting to become) someone else, you essentially ignore the person that you are. Lest I be misconstrued, I am fully aware that trying to make yourself better and trying to be someone you are not are two entirely different things. If you are desperately trying to alter your personality into what you think someone else prefers, you will be disappointed. At some point, you will either get sick of living the lie, or people you are trying to please will fall in love with a fraud. You might even grow revulsion toward something you chose to do. Not only does the yearning to be like another person causes anxiety, depression and anti-social tendencies, but it also renders the true self in a state of disuse. Whatever you believe we are here for, it cannot be true that we are here to be wasted.
While we may be able to change certain things about ourselves, in essence we are who we are. Searching for happiness outside of yourself is a mistake. Happiness is something you are; it comes from the way you think. Being genuinely happy starts with the realization that you are both the source and the cause of your own well-being. We never get to experience the world as it really is; we only get to experience our thoughts about the world.
To all young ladies and gentlemen out there, go ahead make yourself better but refrain from constantly wishing you were someone else. Instead, own your body and your flaws. Learn to love yourself by looking beyond those imperfections. Social media or other people should not dictate how you should live your life. You’re an individual, not a carbon copy. Focus on being the best version of you and you’ll discover you’re much happier. — Dionnie M. Colalong