This has always been a massive topic among teen girls, and I’m seeing it become incredibly prominent over Facebook lately. Women and men are presented with unrealistic expectations in regard to how they ought to look. The media portrays a so called “perfection”, a perfection that is impossible to live up to. For diabetic girls in particular, this pressure of having the “perfect” figure is prevalent, and damaging.
Taking insulin causes weight gain, undeniably. This is a healthy gain when balanced with exercise and a good, balanced diet. However, many girls are attempting to stop this weight gain by taking less insulin. Doing this causes blood sugars to rise, causing the body to resort to consuming its own fat stores, causing many young girls to fall into Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA can cause coma and eventually death, all in the name of attaining that “perfect” figure.
Manipulating something as important as insulin carries so many dangers, and it saddened me immensely to meet girls that do this regularly. They refuse to go onto an insulin pump for fear of weight gain; they alter their doses and limit their diet to a point where they’re becoming as ill as they were pre-diagnosis.
This has got to stop. It shouldn’t be about how you look, we need to value who we are as people first. I’m criticised by some for promoting this message: “oh but you fit the media’s projections, you’ve got that perfect figure”.
Firstly, I don't appreciate being placed in some "enemy" camp. I'm the same as every other girl, unable to fit entirely into that "perfect" projection. Second, and more importantly why should it matter? I’d rather that people liked me and valued me for who I am; rather than how I look and how close I am to reaching this media “perfection”. Many girls worry about what everyone else thinks of them, focussing solely on how they look. But personally, I don’t particularly want the company of someone who chooses to look at me as an object first rather than as a person.
I’m full of imperfections, and that’s what makes me, me! To any diabetic girls manipulating their insulin dosages, STOP. Unrealistic, unattainable and downright unhealthy standards put forward by the media are not worth compromising your health. The people you want around you, are ones that will look at who you are, not what size clothes you wear.