A Girl’s Right

Hannah - LaGrange Highlands, Illinois
Entered on October 2, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in the negative effect the media has on young women today, and that a girl have a right to be comfortable with her own body. I would think that very few people have heard a teenage girl say “I do not care about my weight.” Every girl has one goal in common, and that is to make someone think they are beautiful. I personally fit into this theory, because I worry about my weight and appearance everyday.

One of my very close friends was so heavily influenced by the stress media puts on weight loss that her life was completely changed. I had noticed she had lost a lot of weight and wasn’t eat as much as the rest of our friends. I had talked to her a couple times and she admitted to her problem but promised she would stop. She made me swear not to tell a soul. I knew she had a problem but I had no idea what to do about it. I worried about her a lot until one night I got a phone call from her sobbing mother. She explained to me how my friend wouldn’t be around for a while, but she would be better off, and that she was taking care of her problem.

I cried that whole night. I blamed myself for everything, I knew but I didn’t do anything to help. I had mixed feelings about the whole situation. I knew she was getting better, but I shouldn’t have let it go that far. I felt so bad, I couldn’t get over the fact that this actually happened. I had heard stories but I never thought it would affect someone so close to me. Time passed, e-mails were exchanged, and things got better.

In time my friend came home, and for the most part she was better. It was a long and tiring process, and she is still healing today. Even though she was getting healthier my guilty conscience remained. I couldn’t understand why she had to go through such a thing. One day in my high school Foods and Nutrition class we began learning about how to eat healthy. Eating disorders went along with this unit. We watched a handful of videos about how the media is the main source of these disorders. I finally opened my eyes. I figured out why all this happened. I finally realized it was no ones fault. Girls are constantly under pressure to be “skinny.” I feel the media, and the “Barbie Doll” image is to blame.