Our Culture of Inadequacy


Something’s Gotta Give

Because my first response when

someone says “You’re Beautiful”

should not be “…But?”


Something’s Gotta Give

Because the adjectives I use to describe myself should

not be fat, ugly, stupid.


Something’s Gotta Give

Because enjoying a piece of cake should not be overshadowed

by fear, guilt, and shame.


My mind is so occupied

counting calories

tracking steps

calculating my self worth.


We live in a society that believes self worth is not inherit

but earned.


Through every meal you miss

every man you kiss

every flaw you cover

every meaningless lover

You are never enough.


You will always be inadequate

in the eyes of our unattainable standards.

Thighs, never small enough.

Eyes, never blue enough.

Hair, never blond enough.

Teeth, never white enough.

Skin, never fair enough.

You are not enough.


The quest to meet those expectations is littered with

self hate, shame and doubt.

Our beautiful role model has a dirty secret.

Cameras don’t show the growling stomach,

the rotting teeth and the tear-stained cheeks.

Even she, is airbrushed to cover her minute imperfections.

And instead of asking what’s wrong with her,

We ask, what’s wrong with me?


If only I could be what the media demands of me, I would be happy.


I am tired of constantly feeling less than.

Every waking moment I am bombarded

with messages reminding me that I am broken.


What good are you if you’re not beautiful?

That’s what women were put on this earth for. Right?


Being the dazzling accessory on a man’s arm

comes with fatal consequences.


Eating disorders have the highest

mortality rate of any mental illness.


At what point do we say, “Enough is enough”?

When do we wake up and say,

You are beautiful.

How many people do we need to lose

before we realize what a deadly game we’re wrapped in.


What’s the worst thing that can happen?


A nation full of empowerment and acceptance?

No longer subscribing to a consumerist ideal

that they are worth less.



Something’s Gotta Give

because one scale should not predict what

kind of day lies ahead of me.


Something’s Gotta Give

because the days should not be wasted

obsessing in the mirror.


Something’s Gotta Give

because society’s ideals that have been instilled in us

are unachievable with deadly results.


Something’s Gotta give

because the beauty industry makes its living by scaring

us by our ugliness.


Something’s Gotta Give


~ BridgePoint Center for Eating Disorders

  1. Carla

    Credit for this submission is to one of our participants.

  2. VideoPortal

    Thompson’s research has lead him to believe that our thinking and ability to focus is actually enhanced by the sort of rumination that occurs with depression, and that while depression can turn destructive, it originally had an adaptive role. I believe that there is merit to Thompson’s ideas, but I’d like to flesh them out based on my own direct experience with patients.

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