Written by Kimi Sisti | Photographed by Tawni Bannister

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have always been a particularly skinny and lean young woman. When I got to college, I quickly realized how different I am compared to many of my peers in the way I think about food and my body.

In contrast to some girls I know, I do not go out of my way to put a limit on the amount of calories I consume. I eat when I am hungry and until I am sufficiently satisfied. On the other hand, however, there are those who constantly watch what they eat. I remember one incident that happened at my apartment last year while the Victori's Secret Fashion Show was airing. I was watching with some friends and I said that I was going to make a big bowl of ice cream. They immediately made a disgusted noise with a face to match. It took me a few minutes to understand their reaction to my simple statement. They asked how I could possibly eat something so fattening while watching the skinny models strut down the runway. At that point, it was overwhelmingly clear how differently I think about food than my peers do. Regardless of the circumstances, the thought of eating and potentially gaining weight never crossed my mind.

In addition to "dieting," it became apparent that other girls view their body differently than I do. There may be areas I feel I could improve on or perhaps not what society deems as "ideal," but those thoughts are not foremost in my mind. I discovered my peers would abide by certain rules when being photographed. I was looking at pictures with friends that were taken at event we attended together, and I realized one friend posed the exact same way in almost every photo. I asked her why she always turns to the side, puts her left hand on her hip and tilts her head a certain angle in pictures. She responded by saying the pose was the only one she knew that did not make her body look fat in pictures. I immediately told her it was not necessary to follow such a rule, but she just responded with a string of complaints about her arms and tummy being too flabby. I could not believe she was going out of her way to appear skinnier in pictures with friends, especially when there was nothing flabby about her.

Instead of meticulously counting calories and judging every body part I think girls, women, and even some men should exude more confidence. I would like to propose a challenge to those reading this article. The next time someone offers you dessert, do not reply with a comment on how it will ultimately affect your body. Enjoy a small portion and do not let the calorie count ruin the delicious delight. In addition, the next time someone pays you a compliment about your physical appearance, smile and say "Thank you." There is nothing arrogant about accepting a compliment. Confidence is far more attractive than negativity.