This I Believe

Jienna - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Entered on November 9, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

I believe the media has too much influence on people. There is no individual opinion. My influence was the girls in music videos. All I would see (and what young teenage girls see) are beautiful women walking around in bikinis with nice bodies and getting all kinds of attention. That’s what I wanted- I wanted to be noticed too.

When I was in middle school I used to not care about what I looked like. I would listen to all these girls talk about themselves but I wouldn’t look at myself that way. Until one day I was in the car and I was eating a Snickers bar and my mom said, “Jienna you really need to watch yourself and stop eating those candies because you’re starting to get chunky, me and Michael have been noticing that.” So I threw the candy. And when I got home I went to my room and started to look at the things on my body that were fat. I didn’t like them. So I started to not eat or skip meals here and there. Or I would work out so hard that I would get dizzy because I didn’t have enough nutrients in my body to keep me going. I would get sick all the time and I never felt good. I was always tired and very moody. I would watch these T.V. shows with all those girls with great bodies and I wanted to be just like them. But what I didn’t know was that there were camera tricks making them look so perfect. I mean I was active! I played soccer but it didn’t seem like I was losing anything.

My mom found out what I was doing and got worried about me. She would make me look at pictures of anorexic girls or when shows would come on about them I had to watch them. It made me so sick to my stomach so I stopped doing it. My mom asked me why I was doing what I was doing and I told her about that time in the car. She said she didn’t mean it like that. She said, “Baby all you have to do is eat healthy and keep being active. It’s just baby fat it will go away in a few years.” So I did what she said, but the change wasn’t showing yet.

By that time I was already going to high school. I started cross country and played soccer. I saw so much improvement by the end of cross country. I was so proud of myself because I went from a size 9 to a 5. Ever sense then I remember my mom’s words and they play over and over again in my head. I still have some imperfections that I know I can fix. But, I’m happy with myself and that’s all the influence I need. This I believe, and you should too.