Raise your hand if your body has ever felt personally victimized by Boston College.
I love my school. BC is the best place on earth and I cannot imagine studying anywhere else. That being said, since coming to BC I have developed a consciousness of my own body that did not exist prior to coming here.
There’s a certain “BC look” that contributes to the way I (and many of my peers) feel. It’s a mold that can be impossible for some to fit into. I don’t know if everyone realizes that this self-consciousness is a part of BC culture, but when female students leave BC less confident than they were when they arrived as freshmen, it becomes a problem that needs to be addressed. So, here are a few of the things I’ve noticed:
The Gym Culture
Look, I’m not complaining that my friends are fit. You go girls. But rarely do I get asked “are you planning on going to the gym today?” It’s always assumed that I will be hitting the Plex everyday to strive for that BC body. Why ya gotta make a girl feel guilty if she wants to have an off day?
Not to mention when I go to the plex I still feel inadequate. I literally refuse to run on the treadmill if I can’t find one in the back corner, just because I know fellow plex-goers will judge me for my running abilities (or lack thereof). Why can’t we all just be proud of each other for trying to be fit, rather than stare at each other with judgmental looks? There’s a reason I’m not in the athlete gym. I’m just a NARP, let me struggle with my 30-minute elliptical work out in peace. I don’t need someone else’s judgmental eyes to tell me I’m not very fit, I can see that for myself.
The Salad Obsession
Secret’s out: I would so much rather indulge in a sandwich handmade by the beautiful Maria than stand in the salad line and eat some limp lettuce. But every time I show up to Eagle’s Nest and assess the lines I feel guilty and judged for choosing the sandwich line. Am I paranoid? Maybe. But I shouldn’t feel bad for eating a sandwich just because most of the other girls eating at that time are getting salads.
Once at Mac, they had a test kitchen where they were featuring a kale bowl. Like a good BC student, I waited in the 20 minute line just to eat two bites of leaves with lemon juice on them before giving up and getting french fries. Kale bowls are not me, but I thought they had to be me because I felt like I had a façade to keep.
Not to mention, Addie’s has some dank flatbreads. But every time I go, the potential of having the greasy, cheesy goodness go straight to my thighs stops me from indulging. I don’t want mixed greens. I want carbs. Give me carbs or give me death.
So many baked goods. So little time.
If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be preparing to leave this school in 3 years. The school that I came to mainly because my tour guide’s convincing argument was how good our baked goods are. Ask me how many cupcakes I’ve had in my time at BC. The answer is none. I can’t even remember the last time I saw someone eat a cupcake here. Just wanna have my cake and eat it too. And the giant cookies at the Chocolate Bar? Get in mah belly.
Make sure you wear somethin’ tight
Crop tops are really “in” right now, as are super tight dresses. I never really owned a body-con dress before coming to college, not because I was uncomfortable in one, but because I never felt the need to show off my body. Yeah, I know this isn’t a BC specific thing, but I don’t remember the last time I saw someone out wearing a dress that wasn’t either form fitting as frick or hella revealing. Look, I’m not saying I’m not guilty of it because I do the same thing.
But, I can’t remember a time before I looked at someone in a tight dress and felt good about myself in my very own tight dress. It seems like every female BC student can rock the heck out of body con and has no self-conscious vibes about how they look. So many times I’ve thought “wow I should have worn something looser”. But then I feel like I have to wear something tight to fit in. So I force myself to be uncomfortable in my clothes and curse my body the whole night.
Late night shame
There’s nothing better than greasy food when you’re drunk. But every time I try and drown my intoxication in mozz sticks and chicken tenders I feel an ache in my soul (no, it’s not the alcohol) for those few extra pounds I know I’ll gain. Each night before I go out my friends and I make a pact not to let each other eat late night. Whereas when my friends from other schools come and visit they could not be more hyped about the greasy food option we have until 2 am on our meal plan.
I always forget that late night is even an option on the week days. I have guy friends who literally eat chicken tenders every night without fail. So many times it would have been so clutch for me to soak my studying sorrows in french fries and onion rings. Yet, I resist. How am I supposed to strive for that perfect BC size 0 if I allow myself to eat anything past 8:00 PM, not to mention fried food?
This feeling extends into the mornings post-drinking, where all I want is to collapse into a pile of homefries and bagel sandwiches. However, I hold back from the sandwich (I usually get the homefries to cure my hangover) because I know that no BC girl would eat such a breakfast. Instead, an egg white omelette with spinach. Boring and doesn’t stop my head from pounding and my stomach from churning? Great. Yum.
The Serious Stuff
A lifestyle where such a body type is so idealized is extremely unhealthy. It makes women at BC that much more prone to eating disorders. Clearly the portrayal of women in media doesn’t help this issue, but on a college campus women are supposed to be celebrated for their differences and their strengths, rather than feel self-conscious about who they are.
I’m proud of myself for having the intellectual skills that got me admitted to BC. Interestingly enough, the college process does not include questions about pant size or weight. So the only thing that can be concluded is that this is an inner-BC struggle. We should be appreciative of the fact that all of us are unique in our own way and that’s what makes us great BC students, rather than trying to make us all fit the same mold to create one type of eagle.
Attending such an elite institution like Boston College creates pressures that students may not face elsewhere. We’re pushed every day to achieve and uphold academic excellence, why are we creating unnecessary pressure to maintain a certain body type on top of that? We’re smart people, so let’s strive for those As instead of those size 0s. I love BC, I just want BC to make me love me as well.