Negative Body Talk: 97% of Young Women Are Victims. Daily.

According to a recent study by Glamour, young women will have 13 negative thoughts about their bodies per day. This study of 300 women of varying sizes and shapes asked participants to record all thoughts about their body over the course of one day. The results were shocking to Glamour, but not to me. 97% of the participants had at least one negative comment within the day. Of the respondents, 63% said they weren’t shocked by their number of negative comments/thoughts. 

At first, I was really not sure if I wanted to read this study I saw mentioned in my Facebook news feed. You see, I am the 97 percent. In December 2008, I gave up my monthly readership of Glamour and Cosmo.  It has been 62 months since I’ve so much as held an issue. I’m so thankful for the decision I made, and the faith in it to never go back. However, I clicked, promising to close the window at the first red flag. What I found was pretty interesting, yet hypocritical. Throughout they offer a rally cry, reworded, but always saying the thing, “Come on, girls, we’re better than this. Love yourself!” Yet, the pages of their publication are full of computer altered images for women to view as perfect and desirable. Their article suggests young women should be more accepting of their bodies, yet when you put this in context, the entire article is dripping with disdain. 

But back to the big picture. This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, which is why this article was particularly hard for me to ignore. The average woman says 13 negative things about their bodies a day? Well, today, in honor of the many women I know who have suffered through their eating disorders, and struggled daily through the hardest days of recovery, I fight back. Here are 13 things I love about my body. 

1. If looks could kill, my eyes would be wanted by the United Nations and INTERPOL. 

2. My hair is actually pretty great. It’s thick and curly, so I can do almost anything with it — with enough time and patience. 

3. I have great balance. 

4. I’m very flexible, and have been at a variety of sizes. 

5. Sure, they are a sign of skin damage, but I really like my freckles. 

6. My body can produce another human being, if I want to. That’s insane! 

7. This body is mine and only mine. I am the only person with control over it. No bully, boyfriend, or politician can take my bodily autonomy from me. Not now, not ever. 

8. 

9. 

10. 

11. 

12. 

13. 

Well, I couldn’t do it. But, I think this is still a great starting point. It took me over an hour to come up with seven. Maybe this time next year I’ll be able to have all thirteen. The important thing is that I made this list, instead of compiling a tally of the negative things. I hope everyone reading this is able to come up with 13 positive things about themselves. Hey, if you can’t, that’s okay! I couldn’t, and I bet many of us can’t. All we can do is try. Let me know if you can, and what you think about this study in the comments. I’d be very interested to hear. 

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