Expectation, Society Standards, And Trigger Points

Written by Lara Antonia

 

 

 

 

 

You are allowed to have your own feelings. No one has the right to tell you, that you shouldn’t feel a certain way. Eating disorders, body positivity, and society standards are the main topics that dominant almost everyone’s life. Especially young girls get caught up in this whole size 0 generation nonsense too quickly.

I would like to focus on the daily struggle, worries, and intolerance I must face on a daily base as a young woman of the 21st century. First, my name is Lara, and I`m 19 years old. I currently live in Berlin, but will I will be moving to the US shortly. My passion and profession is acting and singing. That sounds cliché, but that is my dream.

When I started dancing I was 4. As most of my friends, I wanted to be a ballet dancer. Even though I discovered singing as my true love when I was six, I always danced. With the dancing always came guilt. The dance teacher tried to make you feel this way when you ate. I was 6 years old! My dance teacher at the time was always convinced I shouldn’t eat any dinner. Even though my mum took my out of this dance class, away from the teacher, it was something I never forgot.

In High School/ Secondary school I was always the youngest, and at 16 I finished my High School Diploma at A –Levels. Being the youngest always gave me some kind of bonus, but it didn’t prevent me from being bullied about my body. I was never the slimmest girl during my early teenage years. I was never overweight, but I wasn’t skinny either. I mean I was still developing, my body was still growing and it needed food. I ate normal until some kids came and made funny comments about my figure or how my boobs are too big, among other things.

Yes, it made me very self-conscious. Yes, I believed them. I wanted to look like the models in the magazines. I wanted to look beautiful and attractive, so I started crash diets. One week I would only drink water and diet coke, and that was it. The other week I would eat one meal, and that was a burger from McDonalds. I was always lucky that I had a mum who supported me and helped me in every situation, but what about those people who didn’t?

Thank you, society, for unrealistic ideals.

When I turned 18 I moved to England, Bath to pursue my dream of becoming a performer. I LOVED those two years at my college…don’t get me wrong. It taught me everything and it gave me so many opportunities and skills I will need in this business, but it always destroyed a little part inside of me a little bit more. As a performer, obviously, you should be fit. I mean fit, not unhealthy skinny. You need the strength to get through a 12-hour rehearsal day, and you need the energy to do all the lifts and turns. I got that a bit wrong though and started my weird crash diets again, because I was scared that I was not good enough. I only ate one bowl of porridge a day and a piece of chocolate to have some energy.

There were times where I had to throw up my food when I felt that I ate too much. I won’t go into detail here, but I won’t lie about it anymore either. It happened, sometimes still happens, and that isn’t good. I will say that I`m working on it.

I finished my course in England 2 weeks ago. I will start my course in NYC in a month, but I am still healing. The actual problem Im facing, and Im sure lots of others do too, is I work out a lot and some people think I have the “perfect” (whatever perfect means these days) body. That doesn’t mean I feel that way. When someone tells me, “but you look so great”, I work out even more. Im too scared that they might think I don’t deserve it, and then change their mind and think Im not attractive enough. When I look in the mirror and say, “Im fat” or “I gained weight”, I mean it. Im not doing it to get attention, and that is generally what I believe in that moment.

So many people over the past month told me, I have NO reason to feel the way I feel. Their argument is, “oh, but you are skinny, so why would you think otherwise?“, or “stop making us others hate ourselves.”

So my question to those people who do that, do they think that helps? Even if you don’t know about someone’s mental health issues, why come at them? I see it happening to other people as well, and it hurts. Friends of mine got attacked, because they are apparently not skinny enough to take their eating disorders serious. That is disgusting and unacceptable behavior. It is shaming.

There are different levels of eating disorders as well. That doesn’t mean it makes them less real. What I have discovered about myself is that an eating disorder is not always about losing weight all the time. It’s about having the control. Rationally thinking, I know nothing happens if I gain 1 kilo, but I lost the control or it feels like it anyway and that is even worse.

I will tell you something, everybody is different and that is a great thing, because it makes us all unique.

When I judge myself, I do just that. I don’t judge others or the way they look. When I tell you we are all allowed to feel what we feel, I mean it. Everyone who comes along and tries to make us feel unworthy of our own feelings are the ones that we call bullies. Let’s try to accept and love one another, help each other, and maybe the world can become a better place.

 

But remember, always be kind!

 

 

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