Thinking Positive

Whether it’s in sports, school, work, body image, or life, it becomes very easy for people to focus on what they are doing wrong and all of the negativity. People want to succeed at what they’re doing and feel good about themselves and their accomplishments. However, it can be challenging, when one is constantly telling themselves, “This is terrible,”, “I’ll never be good enough,” or “I don’t think I can do this,”. Thinking positive is a way to turn those thoughts into something positive that will help you achieve your goals and feel better about yourself and whatever you do.

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In sports, all athletes struggle with the pressure of wanting to win, not let down their coach, teammates, and parents, and perform with perfection. They also struggle with the ups and downs in their performance and when they are going through a rough period, they tend to think negatively which will only make things worse. Two words that are heard often are “can’t” and “don’t”. There are a lot of coaches out there who will tell their athletes, “Don’t hit the ball out,” or “Don’t lose,” and that causes the athletes to think about what they should not do versus what they should do. Then when athletes have talked themselves into doing the wrong thing, they start to believe that they can’t shoot a free throw, or land their back flip, or hit a float serve. Everything can go downhill if this negativity isn’t stopped in its tracks.

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For example, in tennis, I can be very hard on myself. Now that I’ve been cleared to start running and playing a little bit of tennis again, my dad and I have been playing quite a bit so that I can get back into shape for the high school season. I haven’t played in about six months and getting back on the court for the first time was great, but there was frustration that came with it too. My groundstrokes were definitely not what I remembered them being and I struggled to get the ball in the actual court. My dad would ask me how my groundstrokes felt and I told him, “I’m not getting the ball in the court” and “I can’t seem to hit forehands”. After I told him that my dad told to focus on what I can do right for the next shot. I’m much more successful when I focus on the positive and what I can do to improve versus how bad my last backhand was.

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The idea of thinking positive has been something I’ve been working on for a long time in tennis and life in general but it can be hard. It’s very easy to slip into a negative mindset but when you focus on what you can do to get better, you’re probably going to improve and feel better about yourself.

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These same ideas can be applied to how you see yourself as a person and your goals in life. Maybe you think that you aren’t pretty or you don’t fit in. Those same two thoughts could be turned into something positive. Even in something “ugly” or negative, you could find something “beautiful” and positive to think about. And with the whole “fitting in” thing, isn’t it better to be yourself and discover who you are than fake it and be in unhealthy relationships? If you think that you aren’t good enough to try out for something, too shy to ask a teacher about something in class, or you’ll never be able to go on that trip to Japan that you’ve been dreaming about forever, you’re probably right, if you aren’t doing anything about it but complaining and thinking negative thoughts. If you think positive, you might not reach your goals when you hope you will but you’ll get there eventually. And if you don’t give going for your goals a try, how will you know you could have accomplished them anyways?

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So with those same thoughts up above, you could turn those into “I’m going to make the best of this situation” “I’ll work towards my goals and achieve them”, and “I can do this”. Turning your negative thoughts into something positive, will help you out in the long run. Set goals for yourself, stick to those goals, and think positive. The road to your goals might be rough, but in the end, all of your hard work will have been worth it. You can do this!

A Note to Incoming Freshmen…

School is starting back up. Yay? I remember coming in as a freshman into high school was a very new and overwhelming experience. So here’s a letter to all of the incoming freshmen. Even if you aren’t going to be an incoming freshman, you might be able use some of this advice.

 

Dear Incoming Freshmen,

Going into high school can be kind of scary and intimidating and overwhelming, especially on the first day, but you’ll get used to it. You might have trouble finding your classes at first and a hard time with your locker combo but like I said earlier, you’ll learn the tricks and remember what you need to, and everything will be okay. And if you don’t have problems with any of that stuff, then good for you! You really know what you’re doing. 🙂 The sophomores and upperclassmen might be intimidating and scary and mean, but they were once in your position and know exactly what you’re going through. They are actually pretty nice, helpful, and good to be around, once you get to personally know them.

Make sure you study hard and work hard in all of your classes. Take notes, ask questions, and try your hardest on everything. A lot of students think it’s okay and cool to put little effort into projects and papers. They think it’s cool to ditch class and “go to the bathroom” to hang out with friends. Honestly, it looks silly and kind of embarrassing. Think about it this way, is it more impressive to have good grades and be successful in school or be to known as the “cool” kid who never works hard in class, doesn’t turn in papers and homework, and ditches to go to Starbucks, or wherever people go when they ditch? In the end, all of your hard work will pay off and you can do whatever you want to do with your life. If you work hard in school, you can go to a good college, and then have a solid job and good life. Nothing comes just like that.

Also, be yourself. You probably hear this a lot these days. “Be yourself”, “don’t be afraid to show who you really are”, and “don’t listen to what others have to say about you” are all pretty common things said these days, especially to teens who are figuring out who they are. In high school, most people are figuring out who they are and what they want to do with their lives. You might already know what you want to do with your life and you might not, and either way is okay. People will pressure you to become something and do certain things like ditch class or cheat and things like that. If you want to take that road, no one’s stopping you. If you don’t want to do that, then say no and stand up for what you want to do and what you think is right. Joining clubs or sports in school are good ways to meet people you want to be around. If you want to wear sweatpants and a t-shirt everyday, then you do that or if you want to join theater or do sports then you do that. To sum this huge paragraph all up, you shouldn’t feel pressured to be something you aren’t. Do what you feel is right and, well, be yourself.
And of course, have fun. Enjoy every moment and make the most of it!

Sorry if this note turned into a pretty long letter! Haha. I know all of you will do well your freshman year. I wish you all the best of luck with this year and the rest of your high school career. Make the most of your year, class of 2019! Good luck incoming freshmen!

Best of luck,

Ana Horvath

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Dove “Evolution” vs. Victoria’s Secret Super Bowl Commercial

Dove Evolution Commercial from Real Beauty Campaign Victoria’s Secret Super Bowl 2015 Commercial
Message Our perception of beauty is distorted because of the photo-shopped models we see on a daily basis. The image we all see is only accomplished through Photoshop.  Love yourself for who you are. You are beautiful. With Victoria’s Secret products you can look and feel like an angel. You will become beautiful.
Body image Little to no makeup, healthy weight, blemishes, rough skin, “naturally beautiful”, short neck, small eyes Very thin and tall, tan, big eyes, long necks, long and thick hair, appealing, flawless
Product Advertised Support for the Dove Self-Esteem Foundation Victoria’s Secret lingerie
Mood/Tone Busy, hectic, realistic Romantic and pretty
Music Instrumental, in-sync with plot in ad, sounds from photo shoot Romantic, jazzy, calm, and intriguing
Reaction Positive, eye-opening,  and shocking to a majority of people including myself Persuasive and controversial

In today’s day and age, it’s nearly impossible to go without seeing or hearing about something dealing with body image. Most of the information about body image is spread by commercials to attract the consumer and make them want to feel a certain way. There are two particular ads, the “Dove Evolution” ad from Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign and Victoria’s Secret Super Bowl 2015 commercial. They both show different kinds of body images. These two ads have many differences that make them the special advertisements they are including their message, music, portrayal of body image, and so on.

To start off, the “Dove Evolution” advertisement sends a unique message about body image. In the commercial, a natural, average model is brought into a studio. As time passes, makeup is applied, her hair is curled and adjusted, lighting is added, and finally her face is photo-shopped to make her eyes bigger and her neck longer. In the end, the ad states, “No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted.”  The “Dove Evolution” ad was broadcasted to show that nobody can be perfect on their own. It takes a large amount of makeup, hairspray, and effects to make a person look appealing and flawless. Dove was trying to get the point across that you are beautiful for who you are and you are “naturally perfect”. On the Dove website, the Dove Self-Esteem Organization says that about 4% of women worldwide think of themselves as beautiful, so their goal is to boost self-confidence and help girls and women reach their fullest potential. Additionally, this ad sets a very realistic tone and adds instrumental music and sounds from the photo shoot which create a positive, eye-opening experience for most people.

In comparison, the Victoria’s Secret commercial from Super Bowl XLIX set a very romantic and pretty mood with a jazzy, calm, and intriguing song. It featured little clips of V.S. models and had a very intriguing little sentence to go with the entire commercial. This ad was very persuasive by showing attractive women wearing Victoria Secret’s newest line of lingerie. Throughout the ad, there was a hidden message that with these products you can look and feel angelic and beautiful. This constant image of perfection is easy to achieve and you can become perfect by wearing Victoria’s Secret lingerie. All of the models shown had perfect, tan skin, big eyes, thick hair, and long, gorgeous legs. The models were all thin and ultimately flawless. Looking back, the ad was very persuasive and adds to the controversy behind Victoria’s Secret.  Many people consider V.S. controversial due to the fact that a lot of their products will give you “the perfect body”.  A lot of people have started to realize that Victoria Secret commercials and models have become misleading. A body with the proportion of the models displayed throughout the media is unrealistic and potentially harmful to those who attempt to get “the perfect body”.

All in all, these two advertisements both make great points and market their ideas and products well. I support the Dove commercial because it shows people that the men and women we see in the media people just like you and me but with a whole lot of makeup and Photoshop work done to them. It puts body image in a positive light and I think it will start to lead people in a healthy direction when it comes to thinking about their weight, body image, and appearance. The Victoria’s Secret commercial was very appealing and successfully marketed its products but its ideas behind body image were misleading, fake, controversial, and poor. You have to see beneath the persuasion and marketing tricks and understand what is real and what is misleading when it comes to body image.

Dove 'Evolution" vs Victoria's SecretIf you’d like to see the two ads, here are the links:

Dove “Evolution”

Victoria’s Secret Super Bowl 2015

Surviving in a World Surrounded by Body Image

In a world so focused on body image, it can be hard for people to get along with their daily lives. People get so paranoid and caught up in their appearance, how they dress, diets, exercise, and even their relationships. There are several ways to survive in today’s world by ignoring the media and society’s view on body image, being happy, and staying healthy.

To begin with, don’t allow the magazine ads, commercials, and society make you think differently about yourself and your body. Those magazine ads and commercials are mostly filled with fake images and false information. These false images and information are used only to attract the customers so that their product will be sold. According to dosomething.org, “Studies show that the more reality television a young girl watches, the more likely she is to find appearance important.” The “perfect” image of a person is always portrayed by these things and it makes people think that they need to look like that image to be accepted and liked by people. For women, this is visualized as a female with long legs, a flat stomach, and a very slim body. For men, this is idea of a “perfect male” is a guy with strong-arm muscles, a good-looking face, visible abs, and a buff body. These images are hard and nearly impossible to copy, so people have no need to spend their time trying to achieve the goal of “perfection”. You can still flip through magazines and like the pictures. You can still watch T.V. and enjoy the commercials, but do not take them too serious. Those ads are only trying to attract viewers.

Additionally, be happy and pleased with yourself. To be happy means feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. In terms of how you feel about your body, feel satisfied and proud to be who you are. Your body was made a certain way and that is unique so embrace it. For a person to feel happy about their body, they must have self-confidence and naturally possess how they look. When a person allows body image to play a major role in their life, they are putting themselves in harm’s way. A person that might not be very pleased with their body could develop a disorder, social problems, and many other terrible things that could eventually be life-threatening. Accepting who you are and how you look is best. It is natural and healthy.

Furthermore, a way to survive in a world surrounded by the pressure of body image is to stay healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally. By staying healthy mentally, you keep your mind in a concentrated and positive state. There are so many good things to focus on in life other than, “Oh, she’s really skinny and wears so much make-up. She’s so pretty. I wish I could be like her.” Staying fit and active is a wonderful way to improve or maintain your health physically. Physical activities can include sports, aerobics, walking, running, and mostly anything in which you get up and move around. “The benefits of physical activity are numerous. The obvious benefit is to burn calories while building a stronger body.  And now, there is new research ‘an active body results in a more active mind’.  Also, activity and fitness will prevent sickness and health issues.” says phitamerica.org. Physical activity helps control weight and strengthens muscles and your entire body. To add on, staying healthy emotionally is extremely important. Having the ability to control your emotions and share them is crucial. If someone is struggling with body image and self-confidence and they are not emotionally stable or healthy, they can inflict harm upon themselves and possibly others. A person can develop eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating, anxiety or nervous disorders, and the list goes on. They have to be emotionally strong enough to get help or get out of their situation.

All in all, with all of the false images and products and ideas portrayed by society and the media, it can be hard to escape the pressure of body image. To survive the pressure there are several things you can do. First, ignore the images and ideas sent out by the media and society. Next, be happy with your body. Finally, be healthy all the way around. Be who you are and love the body you were born with. “Body confidence does not come from trying to achieve the ‘perfect body’. It comes from embracing the one you’ve already got.” -Unknown

Surviving in a World Surrounded by Body Image

Works Cited

11 Facts About Body Image. N.p., 2014. Web. 17 Nov. 2014. <https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-body-image>.

Emotional Health. American Physiological Association, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2014. <http://apa.org/topics/emotion/index.aspx>.

Health Consequences of Eating Disorders. NEDA, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2014. <https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/health-consequences-eating-disorders>.

Physical Activity For the Body, Mind and Prevention of Healthcare Costs. Phit America, 2014. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.