“It is a miserable thing how I cannot seem to fall in love with myself. Selfish it may sound coming from my own clumsy tongue, but that is where romance starts, isn’t it? Inside ones own soul? Rippling out from bones to every piece of skin one has had trouble falling in love with?
We have blemishes and we carry scars. We are tarnished, tainted, and decorated with filth; but beneath the dust, the dirt, there lives always diamonds, and behind every cloudy night, lives always, a sea of endless stars.”
Dear Cosmopolitan Magazine,
Despite what you may say in the countless articles covering your magazine and website: people have flaws. I want to address the fact that all of your models are photoshopped to be society’s definition of beautiful and I honestly wonder who started that definition in the first place.
Because of you, the 8 year old girl I used to babysit was already struggling with self-esteem. Because of you, my friends glorified the bone-thin body figure that you call acceptance. The mirror no longer held a sense of beauty, but a sense of false hope of a young girl that no longer loved herself.
When I was 11, I looked down at the stretch marks on the inner section of my thighs and wondered why I had them when the other girls my age didn’t. I listened as the older women in my life had always tried to get rid of their’s and read the magazines that told me stretch marks were ugly and shaming.
When I was 13, the internet fell in love with skinny waists and big breasts and I looked down at a body I grew to hate and wondered who could ever love someone who could not hold the definition of beauty like a name tag.
I was 14 years old when I got my first pimple. All of my friends had already started dealing with acne for years and I was forced to believe that in order to be beautiful, I had to conceal whatever imperfection stumbled upon me.
Because of you, 110 pounds felt too heavy for my 15 year old body to be happy with what she saw in the mirror and most of my friends had a BMI lower than their age.
And Cosmo, I wonder why you glorify these feelings for every age to read. I wonder why you feel the need to airbrush women who don’t meet your body standard. I wonder why you feel the need to makeover faces that are already beautiful. Then I realized that society buys “beauty” in plastic surgery contracts, waist trainers, and a trend that will change again next Spring. Why is it that natural bodies is an alien concept?!?!?
Screw your photohopped standards of beauty!
Girls should not be sexualized. I repeat, woman of all ages should not have to push up their breasts and wear mini skirts to be attractive. No, I don’t want to read your sex tips that tell me I have to wear matching lingerie by the time I turn 16. I don’t want to read that I have to workout for men to notice me. Don’t tell me I have to give in to a man’s needs even when I say no. Don’t tell me to try harder. Stop sexualizing men and woman and start telling them to confident with who they already are.
Another thing, what gives Cosmo and it’s readers the right to judge complete strangers to them? The last time I flipped through a Cosmo, it basically held things like:
- Which outfit would look best on her?
- Drool over this topless man and vote!
- Rate this celeb’s outfit!
Or even things like:
- *insert celebrity name* has this and now you should buy it.
- *insert diet section with a girl advertising some “health” item*
Unfortunately, dear Cosmopilitan Magazine, it’s not just you. It’s every article online or on paper. To the men and women out there who look at those and feel alienated becuase of a “flaw,” I want you to know that there’s nothing you need to change about yourself.
Every curve, every straight edge, every stretch mark, every cellulite dimple, every pimple, every freckle, every hair, and every scar on my body is beautiful. I no longer need you to tell me that I’m not.
A teenage girl.
If you’re reading this, I want you to leave an encouraging message in the comment section in hopes that someone might read it. In this day and age, people should be uplifting others and not tearing them down. Check out my last post about self-love: Let’s Talk Beauty – Practicing Self Love On Valentine’s Day and don’t forget to pass along the love to someone else.
To everyone struggling with their self esteem because of something someone may have said, or something you heard, or read: I want you to know that you are more than what people think of your appearance. You are loved from the deepest part of the sea to the darkest part of the galaxy and you just don’t know it yet. Your body holds the kind of beauty that people aren’t comfortable with yet and that’s okay because what people say doesn’t matter.
Fat is not a bad word.
Thin is not a bad word.
Acne is not a bad word.
Wearing what makes you feel good is perfectly okay!
Saying no to sex does not make you a prude.
Saying yes to sex does not make you a whore.
Wearing short shorts is not “asking for it.”
Your sexuality does not define your worth.
If someone doesn’t like you for you, then it’s time to move on from that person.
And lastly, having feelings is okay. You should never let anyone put you down for feeling a certain way.
I hope you enjoyed “Dear Cosmopolitan.” Happy Wednesday!