Millenials are busy creatures. Besides clocking in at an über cool 9-5 job, going to school, and basically surviving Metro Manila traffic on rainy days—there’s also a lot of extracurricular activities: trying out new fitness routines, meeting up with friends, and oddly enough, fighting off our love for food in the hopes of looking good in our next Instagram photo.
I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with food. Growing up as a chubby kid, I’ve always strived to be a petite, five foot three (or four) mestiza like my mom and older sister. I tried to shy away from all the things I love in life, including my top three favorites—pizza, pasta, and cake.
However, despite all the calorie counting, countless gym mavericks (seriously my trainer thinks letting me do the butt walk will help ward off the bulge), and basically arguing with food, my dreams of being a petite mestiza cannot simply be because a) I’m five foot eight and b) more weight is needed when you tower over everyone else.
It has also come to my realization that everyone’s in on the food counting obsession too. It’s like part of a typical millenials’ daily routine is the constant push and pull of wanting to eat in one of the many glorious food establishments mushrooming in Metro Manila and the need to look like the next magazine cover.
The problem has persisted for ages but it’s in an extremely heightened state today due to social media. Suddenly, hiding after a break up or disappointment is no longer possible because with one snap, your true self is revealed.
It’s heartbreaking to see so many intellectual, smart, and fashion forward girls fall into this trap. I know that men also have their insecurities about the handles (I would personally like to say sorry for oogling over the now in shape Chris Pratt, but believe us women when we say he was actually hot before dropping the pounds) but not in the way women torture themselves over a donut.
There’s a lot of oogling, ahhing, and crying involved and it’s not pretty. While getting ready for work this morning, I suddenly wondered why so much time, effort, and tears are invested in chasing after an impossible weight goal when the same amount of time can be invested in changing the world or being kind to one another?
And while I’m all for encouraging women to look their best in anyway they see fit, I’m also for women taking a stock on how their character is developing through all of this. Have we become in gripes with other women simply because they have a different body type? Do we undergo rigorous and impossible routines just so we can “beat” another woman? While the intention of being the best looking versions of ourselves is a noble cause, doing it to prove to others that we can too, isn’t.
In fact, I’ve personally experienced it myself that no matter how many pounds I lose or how “good” I look, it wouldn’t matter if I’m not at peace on the inside or if I’m constantly looking over my shoulder out of the fear that I’m no longer the “best.”
It’s a simple adage. We all deserve happiness and we all deserve to be beautiful. And eating that donut won’t, in any sense, take that away.