Palek Patel, a student at the Conestoga Valley High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, begins her talk on self love by telling her audience about how she was often body shamed for being too skinny, as her peers would gossip behind her back and insensitively accuse her of being anorexia. Naturally thin and healthy, she felt helpless when she was criticized for her body.
This caused Patel to criticize herself even more, and she started to compare herself to others around her, rather than having an appreciation for her own body. She continues her talk by considering how body shaming effects young girls specifically, telling her audience that girls as young as six report feeling uncomfortable with their bodies, and that nine out of ten girls have considered dieting before the age of 17.
Although the images that are perpetuated by society tend to enhance these issues, Patel shows that it's important for girls to be aware of how unattainable these ideals are, and understand that letting go of such irrelevant things is key to leading a happier life.
Learning to Love Life
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