Pride and Prejudice: Body Image

20150127_153730

Hello Blogosphere! My name is Isaiah Frisbie and I am honored to be the writer for Pride and Prejudice. As a freshman myself, I came to Brown with a number of questions, many of which were answered within a matter of weeks while others remain open-ended. Perhaps one of the more enduring questions, one that may continue to be answered throughout the entirety of my Brown career, is how my own sexuality will affect my college experience. So, I have taken it upon myself to use this blog to contribute any kind of insight that I can about LGBTQ life at Brown and hopefully, in some way, help any student, prospective or otherwise, put some of those nagging worries to rest.

I think a common misconception about the college experience is the idea that students are now at a point in their lives where the issues that they typically faced in high school are no longer present. Whether or not this has to do with transitioning into “adulthood” or a supposed degree of maturity that is expected of one’s peers, the idea is that the often tedious and unnecessary problems that plagued many of us in the past are now over. While this can be true in many cases, this idea doesn’t always apply to the more fundamental issues that many of us face, issues that are purely specific to the individual themselves. Examples include confidence building, learning to be assertive, stepping out of one’s comfort zone, and so on.

In my own case, I actually do find that many of the nuisances to which I once gave significance are no longer important. I simply realized that as a college student, I was finally at the cusp of what was to be the beginning of my own life. I don’t have the luxury to be weighed down by issues that I didn’t necessarily have to deal with. In other words, I learned that I didn’t have to be so hard on myself and that it was about time I start accepting myself for the person that I am.

Despite this realization, I have to be honest with myself and understand that I’m still a child. I still have much to learn and there are countless ways I can grow as an individual. Naturally, there are still a few issues that I haven’t been able to shake. One of these lingering worries is my concern with body image. I am not completely happy with how I look and I think I would be lying if I said that it didn’t sometimes affect me. Granted, I am in a much better place than I was a few years ago. However, I’d be betraying my own sense of self-awareness if I tried to claim that I was cured of this daily struggle. Put it this way. One of the first major purchases I made for my dorm room was a scale and I still weigh myself practically everyday.

The point of this story, however, is not leave off on a bad note. Yes, I still have work to do in terms of accepting myself and how I look. There is always room for improvement in any aspect of life. However, do not let this pursuit for improvement consume you. Some days you will eat more than you usually do. Some days you will weigh a little more than you did the day before. This is not the end of the world. Over these past few months, I’ve slowly grown to accept these facts and not overreact. I’ve learned to breathe and tell myself that I am not defined by a number. The idea of body image and body positivity is a very sensitive and important topic in any community and the LGBTQ community is no exception. There is so much pressure to look a certain way because we are aware that it is this kind of appearance that elicits a response. It this kind of look that turns heads.

Well, would you like to know what I have learned in the past few months? Many kinds of looks turn heads. Many looks will inspire a double take. Yes, it’s nice to know that others can and do find you attractive. It’s quite flattering but don’t try to lose weight for someone else. Don’t go to the gym because you think the results will get others to stare. Like I said, there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve. There is a certain value you should place on your body and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to maintain it as effectively and efficiently as possible. On the other hand, such maintenance shouldn’t be done for the sake of someone else. Another person’s attention is not the only form of validation. Improve for yourself. Improve because you will feel better about it. Improve because you’ll feel better about yourself.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about what I should post next, please don’t hesitate to email me at isaiah_frisbie@brown.edu.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s