Every woman should feel free to be happy with the way they look, dress and think. In today’s society, many woman feel trapped by the social expectations set by the idolization of celebrities and public figures. As a college woman grows and discovers herself, she should develop confidence, self-respect, self-assurance and high self-esteem. These are uncommon themes found among UWM college women.
“I felt more confident at age 11 than I do now at 21,” said junior Olivia Gallimore.
It’s normal for every woman to feel uncomfortable, but with a large chest, skinny waist, long luscious locks, clear skin and a flat stomach being idolized in the media, it becomes even easier for a college-aged woman to find certain areas of her body unacceptable.
“I feel slightly insecure when it comes to my chest,” said sophomore Samantha Fletcher. “I get feelings of shame, sadness, disappointment and frustration because women in the media have much larger chests than I do.”
“I do feel insecure (while watching celebrities on the red carpet) because I think about how fit and toned they look, especially their arms and how flawless their face appears,” said Gallimore. “It makes me feel a little ashamed.”
Two common insecurities that the UWM college woman struggles with is her weight and the clarity of her skin. Talking about weight has always been a sensitive subject, but with celebrities like Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande being praised for their almost non-existent number on the scale and porcelain-smooth skin, its’s easy for a UWM woman to struggle with accepting, talking about and finding solutions to these insecurities.
There are multiple factors on the UWM campus that contribute to a woman’s undesired number on the scale and the unwelcomed acne on her face. These factors include: the cheap, fatty, greasy foods that are served all over campus, the expensive prices UWM places on healthy food choices, the anxiety from academic pressure and the stress from different relationships. Even with these negative energies that are contributing to this “unacceptable image” of a UWM college woman, there are still ways that she can find inspiration to love herself and her body image.
“Body image and confidence is a choice.” Senior Marisa Novy said. “We are all uniquely beautiful in differing ways. Self-confidence stems from the happiness felt when you treat the body that you were given like a home. Respect it.”
The UWM woman needs to recognize that it’s crucial to stay positive about her body image regardless of what society recommends in the media. Finding inspiration to love the quirks she was given might not be crystal clear in the moment, but the UWM woman will discover that she is a strong, unique individual who deserves to respect and love herself. There are countless opportunities to spark the raging fire of self-love and self-respect. One opportunity is to let go of the negative people that don’t fund your success or happiness. It’s dire to create room for people that promote a positive mindset and that bring out the best in their peers.
“I feel the way we present ourselves attracts the personalities we wish to surround ourselves with. Attract those who promote a better you.” Said Novy. “A healthy mindset creates a healthy body image. This healthy body image will radiate outward toward others.”
Another opportunity the UWM woman has to improve her self-esteem and body image is to get active on campus. She can grab a friend and head over the The Klotsche Center for some physical activity. It offers more than 10 group workout classes throughout the week that range from Zumba to yoga. She can also get active on campus by joining a student organization. With over 300 options, she is sure to find one that will elevate her career along with building healthy relationships with peers that have the same interests.
Every UWM woman has something different and unique to offer. Hiding under the exterior shell of low self-esteem lies a young, successful, confident woman who is waiting to show the world what she is capable of. Once she embraces the things that make her different, she will transform into an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.