Learn To Love Yourself


One of the hardest processes any person, more specifically teenagers and young adults, will have to face is the process of discovering who they are and trying to fit into “societies norm”. When hitting a certain age, may it be eleven, sixteen or even twenty-one, a person goes through stages of trying different looks, acting different, and trying to find what they like and what other people would like. This identity diffusion is a common process many eventually face. But how many children actually learn to self-love and become comfortable with who they are?

These are statistics about body image in the 21st centuryBodyImageInfographic-1

Both girls and boys face self-esteem problems and there are many reasons for it.

Society today is known for “thin” girls and “muscular” guys taking over the front page of magazines. They fool people into thinking that these celebrities really look like that. From there, the minds of readers want to look like them and feel bad that they don’t. However, readers don’t know how much editing and photo-shop goes on in these covers to give off the impression that the cover girl or boy is perfect.

Aside from magazines, social media such as Facebook and Twitter also hurt body image and self-esteem. In a CNN article, it talked about how people are now exposed to more and more images of beauty that seems near impossible due to social media.

Not only is it staring at pictures of celebrities on these sites that hurt the self-image, but it is also the pressure to find the “perfect” profile picture and to make sure the pictures you’re tagged in look presentable or are in your favor. Teenagers have spoken about social networking and the impact of it in “what it takes to be ‘liked’”.

These low self-esteem problems can lead to even worse mental problems. From self-esteem, one can move towards self-hate, which is picking on oneself for every little flaw they see, or perfectionism, which is trying to make themselves look “perfect” (and no one is perfect, so this idea just makes the person try harder to fit the “ideal image”). From that point, it goes to feeling worthless, to becoming oversensitive, to having fear and anxiety to maybe even anger.

There are many different ways that low self-esteem can affect a person in the long run, one major affect being depression, and another being anxiety.

There are also serious body issues that come from low self-esteem. If a girl or boy starts to hate their body, he or she may create the mentality that if they throw up after they eat, or just not eat in general, then they will lose weight and form the figure they desire. These two mental states are called bulimia nervosa and anorexic disorder.

What is bulimia nervosa? It is an emotional disorder involving distortion of body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight, in which depression and self-induced vomiting, purging, or fasting follows bouts of extreme overeating.

What is anorexic disorder? Anorexic disorder, or anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that makes people lose more weight than is considered healthy for their age and height. People with this disorder may have an intense fear of weight gain, even when they are underweight.

To here a podcast on bulimia nervosa and anorexic disorder click here.

 When thinking of an eating disorder, it is common to think of a female figure. However, males are also affected by an eating disorder. Even if the percentage may be less, it is still important to acknowledge that everyone hurts and can be affected.

Once low self-esteem and other mental problems are developed, it starts to affect the person’s daily routine and interferes with work and/or schoolwork. If one doesn’t feel happy with his or herself, then it shows through how they act and what they do. These people can start to feel like nothing else matters except how they look and what people think of them.

There are no positive benefits to having self-esteem issues. It is necessary to teach kids young about self-acceptance and teach them that they should be proud of who they are. Media needs to realize that they are creating a society where people are becoming mentally ill and won’t be able to reach their fake standards. The prevention of these illnesses and disorders is needed, for our society needs to be accepting, not judgmental.







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A Garritano Easter


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A typical Easter Sunday at the Garritano household begins in the early morning (around 8 AM). This year, my brother and I, being the mature 16 and 18 year olds we are, started off our mornings with a scavenger hunt. However, it wasn’t the normal game where you have to find the eggs, my dad thought we were too old for that. Instead, my parents created a series of clues, where we would have to solve the riddle, and the location of the answer would be where our “coupon” was held. There were 8 clues…which took us a good 45 minutes (it wasn’t easy!) Once we collected our coupons, we could cash them in for our prize at the end (AKA, the cute little gift basket our mom’s made us).

Once that was finished with, my brother unfortunately had to go to work and left us for the day. Since Easter is held at our house, my mom was cooking a majority of the food. She had the stuffed shells, roast beef, and peas ready for the day. Then, at 2 pm, my aunt, uncle, 2 cousins and 3 grandparents came to eat, because for some reason on every holiday 2 pm is the time to eat.

Throughout the dinner, there was this guessing game going on. Before everyone came over, my mother filled a jar with jelly beans and chocolate eggs. We had to observe the jar and write our guesses on a paper of how many eggs and jelly beans there were. Once everyone placed their guesses, my mom read the number and whoever was closest would win and keep the jar (I never win. Everyone always has these mathematical ways to figure out the number, I just write a number close to my brother’s for fun).

After our pasta dish and our main dish, we clean up a tad and move on to fruit. After fruit, the kids, meaning my 19 and 16 year old cousins and I (with the inclusion of my brother) like to go outside and play some type of sport. Usually, we play football in the street. However this time my cousin brought a game called “Kan Jam”, which involves 2 black plastic cans and a frisbee you have to try and throw into those cans. If you get the chance, I would definitely try it out, it’s pretty funny.

Once we’re all tired out, we move on to the dessert, which includes the pastries and the homemade wheat pies and cheese cakes. The New York Yankees game is usually on in the background, and go figure, they won in extra innings!

It hits about 6, and the family begins to leave. Everyone’s full and tired, and the college students have to head back to college. Over all, the traditional Garritano/Punteriero Easter lunch (or dinner) continues, and another holiday of love and fun passes by.