Body Positivity and How it Affects Relationships

Recently, I’ve started wondering what people look at when they are interested in someone. Whether it’s based solely on outer beauty, solely on inner beauty, or those two things, they have an equal effect on relationships. So, I went first hand into what people truly think about when they are “talking”.

I interviewed two boys and two girls on what they looked at. Junior Ravelle Dundon, said that the first thing she looks at is “if they have a good sense of humor”, while senior Hannah Matthews said that she focuses on their looks.

It was interesting to hear how these two girls opinions on the matter could differ based on experience or personal preference. I asked the guys if they had set standards when going into a relationship or the standards were built based upon the person.

Junior Will Whitfield said that “Sometimes you have expectations, and they sometimes change but usually I just want someone who understands if I need help with something and if they’re there for me”. Junior Keith Mitchart said that the person has to be “at least a touchdown—a 6 or above”, also meaning he has higher standards when being interested in someone.

It was fascinating to see how many opinions and answered differed throughout the course of the interviews. A lot of times, many in high school feel like they have to look or act a certain way to get the attention of someone of the opposite gender—which is not exactly true.

Personally, I think it’s important to look at the whole picture instead of just focusing on the way they look, because looks do change, but your personality and the way you treat people will always remain constant.

High School is predominantly concentrated on what we look like. Let’s face it—do we not all get on social media and post pics because we want friends and family to see what we’re doing or what we have accomplished? It’s not necessarily a bad thing—it just proves that we all want affirmation and we have pride in what we do by posting or checking it most of the time. We care about our reputation, we care about what we look like to others even if it’s not consciously so.

However, I want to banish the concept that looks should mean everything. Now, I will argue that I am not one to say that all I look at is personality. But, I do realize at the end of the day that looking at the person as a whole will get me more ahead in finding someone that I can relate with, feel comfortable around, and be happy with. Truthfully, it’s hard to find someone (especially in high school) who has the same mindset as me or as my peers, and I do think it’s because of the world we are all growing up in.

We see in the media that beauty sells, sex sells, and popularity sells. It seems like it’s all about outer appearances when there are models walking in the Victoria’s Secret fashion shows or beautiful and wealthy couples walking down the red carpet. We all want to strive to have what they have or look the way they do, even subconsciously. But on the outside is something that can and will change, like I’ve said before.

As I’m growing older and I’m maturing more in these concepts I get why the promise of a beautiful look or a wealthy partner can be enchanting. But ultimately, I’m not worried about my reputation or how that person looks compared to me because I’m my own person and everyone is beautiful in their own way—and that doesn’t always mean what you look like on the outside. Having a meaningful and compatible relationship is way more important than the status of having one and whom you’re with.

I know I can’t exactly spread that message since it’s one many have heard before, but I can become more cautious in who I choose to spend my time with and what I’m looking for to fulfill my goals in a relationship.

Written by Grayson Ruiz

Staff Writer

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