Beauty Isn't Happiness

Subject: Beauty Isn't Happiness
From: Ashley
Date: 7 Jan 2020

Dear May,

It’s your friend Ashley and I want to tell you that you should love yourself no matter what because I’ve seen you suffer and I’ve been there trust me it’s not pretty. As I was thinking of what I wanted to tell you in this letter. I thought to myself why not make this a letter to where all the girls and teens could read and understand that they are not the only ones going through this and making them understand that loving their body and themselves if the key to stopping their misery. So let me start over.

Dear teenage girls,

I know that you are in a stage where you hate how you look and you want to become someone else. But let me tell you something, all of this overthinking or wanting to become someone else is hurting your psychological and physical health. I know there are many reasons on why you wish to change and some of them might have been from hurtful comments from people or while you were scrolling down on your Instagram account, you found this pretty girl with an amazing body and then you walked towards your bedroom mirror and you hated what you saw. I know that there are more reasons but these are the two main ones I know why you hate your body or face.

So this problem might start as a goal like eating healthier, exercising, or even getting more sleep. But as you continue to see that nothing is changing you get so impatient with yourself that you eventually start to eat smaller proportions of food because you see food as your enemy and offensive. Some other examples that you will see in yourself are changes in your behavior, excessive exercising, having distorted beliefs about your body size, often tired or struggling to concentrate, and disappearing to the toilet after meals. But all of this thinking, of becoming perfect, in time it will start to become a huge problem because all of this will lead to an obsession called Anorexia. Anorexia can cause serious changes to your body and can lead to death. This is where it gets ugly because even though you finally got that perfect body you have always wanted you still think that it’s not enough and if you stop doing what you are doing now, you will become that girl you were before. But that is not true you can stop yourself from becoming anorexic by receiving professional help. If you don’t stop this, there will be a day where you will notice how you could see your rib cage, your spine, and every bone in your body. As you stare in the mirror you see that your face has become paler and you see that most of your hair has fallen from the top of your head. But this doesn’t stop you from puking every food out in secret to lie to your parents, but one day you wake up in a hospital bed with a mess of wires connected to you and feeding you because you are too weak to even chew or move. All of this obsession will lead you to this and this usually starts with social media, for example, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. There is evidence to prove that many girls on social media are starting group chats and sending each other pictures of losing weight. They are also commenting under pictures to tell others to support them in their weight loss journey and how they will fast. There have also been studies that have shown a rise in more than 130% in those that are aged from 19 and under that are suffering from eating disorders.

The reason why I wanted to tell all you young girls out there that are struggling with this problem is because I’ve been there, sure not to the point where I ended up in hospital bed but to where I can tell you how I suffered from an eating disorder and how it’s not pretty. When I was entering 7th grade I saw how many girls in my school were talking about how they were going to the gym to get in shape and how they didn’t like their bodies. They even told me that I should join them on their journey of getting in shape. So me not knowing what I was going to get myself into I said yes and followed them. As I started this with my friends I kind of stopped eating at school and ran during the evenings. I wanted this to turn into a habit but I didn't see any results. Eventually, I started seeing my friends get that perfect body and they seemed a bit different though because they seemed as if they weren’t the same person. Their skin was very pale as a porcelain doll and had white dots on their faces because of the malnutrition. They also seemed very tired and stopped doing their favorite things. But there was one thing that I got to experience with my old friend. So as she invited me to go over to her house she planned on running in her backyard. As we both ran I notice she seemed out of breath and very tired, I asked her if she wanted to stop for a moment and she said yes. As we waited there for a few minutes we then afterward ran inside her house. The moment we got inside she drank a lot of water and told me that she felt very dizzy. A few seconds later I saw how she fell to the ground “Thud” “Bang” as she hit the kitchen floor. I was so scared that I didn’t know what to do so I called her mother in and we waited for a minute to see if she would wake up or else her mother was going to call an ambulance. She then woke up and she was really lucky to have woken up. So something that I started to notice about my eating disorder was that it was affecting me because instead of focusing in school, I focused on my body more. I also noticed how sleepy/tired I was and how dizzy I felt after running. So when I went to the doctor she told me that I was lucky to have come on time before anything else happened because she told me that sometimes this becomes an addition to where you want to be skinny and it usually ends up with death or it can end up with you being anorexic. So I just want to warn you girls out there to open your eyes and see that what you are doing isn’t healthy. You're hurting yourself and you can end up in a hospital bed.

I know that you might say to me that being pretty is going to make you happy because you are going to have something you’ve always wanted. But here's the thing being pretty isn’t going to make you happy because I know that once you get to that point you will want more like maybe it’s your body that you feel so insecure about today but tomorrow it might be your face. So this problem doesn’t have an end to it because people become so obsessed with how they want to look that they don’t even see the consequences that could come afterward. Like many of you, girls are in denial and thinking that nothing is wrong with what you are doing and that is all a lie because you still see yourself in the mirror as an overweight person that needs to lose weight. So from my experiences, I think you should ask for help or talk to someone that will help you with these problems and just like the way you are. And keep in mind that if you want to look good, look good for yourself, not for somebody else.

Lastly, I want to explain that beauty isn’t happiness because I know that many of you girls are confused on what the meaning of beauty actually is. Like I explained previously in this letter that many you think that beauty is just the way you look and how your body is shaped. But that isn’t true because the actual meaning of beauty is who you are and what your personality is like because beauty reflexes from your interior not just your physical looks.

Now that you have read this letter I am hoping that you can understand what can happen when you hate how you look. Please get that idea out of your head because it isn’t going to take you anywhere, but the hospital. It’s not even worth it, so please if you want to lose weight, exercise, sure your body isn’t going to change from night to day. So be patient with yourself and for all the girls that are already in the stage where this has become an obsession please ask for help because if you don’t stop this then who can stop you and keep in mind how this situation is hurting your family.

Sincerely your friend,