Appearance and Acceptance

This is a speech I wrote at summer school this year, about appearance, and how much it is linked to the need to be accepted. I know someone who has suffered with an eating disorder, so this cause is very close to my heart, and I hope people will support me in this by spreading the word about eating disorders, what they are and the harm they can do. Many thanks, from me, Anne Shaw, and all my friends including: @Amren, @AvengingUnicorn, and @w0lverine

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1. The Truth

AUTHORS NOTE: I WROTE THIS MOVELLA TO TELL THE WHOLE WORLD THE TRUTH. MAYBE HUGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE WILL READ THIS. MORE LIKELY, THEY WONT. BUT AT LEAST I'VE DONE ALL THAT I CAN. I KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN THROUGH AN EATING DISORDER, AND SHE CONFIDED IN ME, AND I FEEL THAT IT IS SOMETHING THAT IS REAL PROBLEM. SO THIS IS ME RAISING MY VOICE TO GET THE TRUTH OUT THERE.

 

From the day we are born, how to look and how not to look is impressed upon us. As babies, boys are dressed up in blue, and girls in pink. All through our lives, the idea of being pretty or ugly is a constant weight pressing down on us. But why is it so important to look "right"? Is it a learned behaviour, or something more usual, more natural, more instinctive?

Lions naturally look for mates with symmetrical faces because it shows a good, strong gene pool. However, unlike lions, we are domesticated animals. Finding a mate, or even just a friend should be about the individual's qualities. None of us look or think the same, and that is amazing, because that is who we are, and none of us need to look the same. What makes us so perfect is what others would call imperfections.

Appearance is a phase more than anything else. It changes with the ages according to fashion. What is pretty and fashionable one day could be ugly and stupid the next. Why try to conform to something so fickle, so unreliable, so unpredictable? The need to look "good", to look "right", to look "pretty" comes from our natural need to be accepted. Without acceptance, we cannot be happy. So, if appearance comes form our natural need to be accepted, how domesticated are we really? If we look to be accepted by society, then we look to be included, and when we look to be included, we look to be part of a pack just like to many wild animals.

The need to look "correct" can have devastating repercussions. It can lead to people taking drastic action. Eating disorders such as Anorexia and Bulimia often come from pressure to look as the model human looks. This is not helped by other factors such as the media who constantly show us what the "desired" appearance is. People who don't conform to that image can feel cornered, trapped, and extremely isolated. The pressure put in people, especially peer pressure can be extremely damaging; sometimes permanently so.

So why aren't we doing something? Why aren't things changing? This won't get better if we don't stand together, working together, united together, for one idea, one aim, and one goal!

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