The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Sex and the CU | Chin up, king.

Don’t let your crown slip.
Natalie Schneider
Sex and the CU.

It’s Saturday night. White sneakers are permeated with radioactive liquid on cracked concrete floors throughout The Red Lion. Nostrils are graced with the tantalizing olfactory experience of a fraternity basement. The romantic ambiance has driven students to engage in primitive mating rituals. 

Even after centuries of evolution, the courtship displays adopted by early-20-somethings are usually slightly more civilized than those commonly associated with western lowland gorillas. Rather than beating on his bare chest or triumphantly urinating on surrounding land, the frat boy proudly presents the soft glow of his Snapcode to draw a bleach blonde co-ed to his dingy, unwashed room. 

Within minutes of arriving at a local watering hole, it is common to see stampedes of post-adolescent boys quickly swarm a handful of gorgeous bleach-blonde sorority girls in strappy Shein tops and generous layers of spray tan. Regardless of whether the boys in question are attractive or interesting in any way, the female onlooker may engage in some form of comparison. 

One may ask, “Why are these women the object of such intense affection while I am left to sip on my hastily prepared lighter-fluid-and-cranberry juice all alone? Will the reject pile only begin to flock in my direction after they have struck out too many times with the Panhellenic crowd?”

If ever faced with this kind of inner monologue, I urge you to remove yourself from the confines of the University for one moment. Every attractive woman is not a 5-foot-2 blonde. Every attractive man is not a tall, lanky and functional alcoholic in a basketball jersey. College beauty standards are not based on anything organic or sustainable — they’re firmly rooted in the dirt that fills the planters outside of KAMS. 

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Even when bearing this in mind, it can be difficult to part with the notion that those who fit the college mold are more deserving of love or companionship than those who do not. It can be tempting to box yourself into the culture’s narrow and unforgiving expectations. However, it is crucial to remain headstrong in reminding yourself that you are worthy and deserving of happiness, irrespective of your adherence to beauty standards.

Dating, in general, has tribulations that almost everyone faces, and a common cross many seem to bear is imposter syndrome. Thinking back to the past lovers we have since parted with, there were multiple instances where insecurity and anxiety got the best of us. 

Too much time is wasted every day wondering if your significant other could do better than you or if you’re overthinking small — and possibly meaningless — texts. Anxious or avoidant attachment styles don’t matter, as the plague that is imposter syndrome stops for no one.

Self-doubt and a critical perspective toward any connection set you up for failure, not just in a romantic context, but for your own image of yourself. 

Is it true you have to fully love yourself to be in a successful relationship? Must your mind be cleansed of the inherited family mental illness? From what we’ve learned during our years of college, no. 

Insecurity and unfavorable thinking patterns don’t go away overnight; for some, those feelings may never really leave. It is not to put you in a downcast state, reader, as there is hope.

Some truth may be found in the statement, “To love others, you must love yourself,” but love isn’t so cut and dry. In our most miserable states, we have been in invaluable relationships and have found ourselves enamored with a partner. However, it’s hard to argue against the fact that being in a negative headspace will most likely sour the connection. 

The vicious cycle of waking up and breaking up with a new partner every so often is tiring and draining for everyone involved. After many failed attempts, we realized there is little truth in the “mental health matters” motto. 

Restructuring the way you think about yourself is key to improving self-esteem and minimizing anxiety. The mental monologue is crucial if you’re constantly criticizing your appearance, mannerisms, etc. 

Take your deepest insecurities — the ones you can’t change — and accept them. Instead of staring in the mirror and picking yourself apart, point out things you enjoy. Do you have cool hair, nice eyes, a contagious laugh or cool clothes?  Picking out even the smallest thing about yourself to appreciate is a step toward feeling good enough.

After each person that comes and goes in life, you will always be left with yourself. Knowing that you’re the prize will not only radiate a confident energy to others, but it will make the time spent alone more bearable. 

College can be a trying time in terms of self-image. From social media to frat parties, there are a variety of avenues for being judged and scrutinized by onlookers.

Nobody knows when the modern beauty standards arose — perhaps their origins are as debated and shrouded in intrigue as the Pizzagate conspiracy theory. It is imperative that you do not allow these standards to impact your self-concept.

While it can be difficult to maintain confidence when faced with casual dating and party culture, we urge you, dear reader, not to let your crown slip. Chin up, king.

Until next time,


[email protected] 

[email protected]

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About the Contributors
Lisa Chasanov, Managing Editor for Reporting
Howdy! My name is Lisa, my game is delivering quality news to your phone screen, coffee table and recycling bin. Since fall 2022, I have had the honor of writing, editing and often-unsuccessfully pitching content for The Daily Illini. During my time at the 152-year-old news source, I have served as a reporter at our news desk, summer editor and assistant news editor. Most recently, after a rewarding year of bringing you hard-hitting stories such as “Uncut: Dissecting Circumcision” and “‘Surf’s Up’ could be the film of the summer,” I have taken over as managing editor for reporting. In my free time, you can find me performing open heart surgery in dark alleys, communicating telepathically with small woodland creatures and engaging in otherwise dubious activities. If you would like to summon me for any reason, you can find me at [email protected]. Good Yard. Stay tuned for more.
Lillie Salas
Lillie Salas, Managing Editor
Hello! My name is Lillie Salas, and I am a sophomore majoring in journalism. I have been working at The Daily Illini since my freshman year. I began as a staff writer in features and then had the opportunity to be promoted to features editor during my second semester. I am so honored to work with such an amazing staff and I look forward to working with the Champaign-Urbana community to share our stories. For any inquiries, contact me at my email below.
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