“People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.”
― Albert Camus, The Fall

A few days ago I was heading to work with my roommate when I noticed a group of girls walking to a college football game. To put it plainly, they were my version of everything that I find wrong with female culture at BYU-- they had long, curled hair; perfect makeup, cropped jeans, and of course, slim figures. I rolled my eyes as they walked by and pointed them out to my friend, hoping that she would agree with me.

 Luckily, she didn't.

After hearing what I had to say, she said that they were gorgeous and "rocked" their outfits. Feeling slightly defensive after hearing this, I told her that they were fake and (according to my skewed logic) undeserving of her compliment. She looked at me, slightly disappointed, and said:"Maybe they are. But that doesn't mean that they aren't beautiful."

I tried to brush off her comment, but her words, and expression, bothered me for the rest of the night.
How could she say something like that about them? I was angry, embarrassed, and seriously confused by her reaction...along with my own words.

During our work shift I thought about what she said, along with my reaction, and realized something.

She was right.

Almost instantaneously I remembered recent blog posts and comments that I had made, feeling more than a little guilty. I had vilified a group of individuals in order to make myself feel better about my appearance, and exclusion from their "group". I saw that stereotype as the source of all my troubles, rather than realizing that my troubles started with me. I felt like a complete hypocrite.

Let me be frank, and say that this blog post is primarily for myself; a coming to terms with the faults in my perceptions of others. I realize now that I've become addicted to judging every aspect of the world around me in order to find solidarity in my own.

I complain a lot about BYU being a place of "molds" and attempted "perfection", but maybe the molds I see are ones that I've created. Shards of thoughts left from my days of controlled eating, and Anorexia.

Maybe I still have a hard time finding the beauty within myself, and as a result, I knock others down.

“It is not for me to judge another man's life. I must judge, I must choose, I must spurn, purely for myself. For myself, alone.”
― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

I've been trying to finish this post for about a week now, but I've had the hardest time putting the rest of my thoughts into words. I could go on about the experience I had watching Miss America with my family, the reality of "skinny shaming", or similar things that have happened in this short eternity of time...but for now, I've said as much as I can muster on this topic.

I know that my past has scarred me in ways that I can't even begin to comprehend yet, but I can't let those thoughts become the basis of my future and the tools that shape my everyday life.

There's definitely a lot more introspection that needs to be done on my part, but for now, I hope I can make a small amends for my behavior by committing to become better at loving others, as well as myself. 

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