EDIT: 07/09/2014 I was quite angry when I wrote this post, as you can tell. Maybe I was being too harsh, but I stand by its message. The ideal of thinness we’re supposed to conform to is unrealistic and dangerous. I want to point out though, that I’m attacking the belief that we should be thin to the point of anorexia to be considered worthwhile individuals, not women who are naturally skinny. All body types are beautiful. Trying to change them to comform to someone else’s ideal of beauty isn’t.
We live in a society that constantly tells us that we need to be beautiful to be successful and loved. We are bombarded with pictures of skinny models and celebrities living the high life, dressed in expensive designer clothes, earning millions, and just generally having a good time. The fact that a lot of these celebs have drinking and drugs problems, are often in and out of rehab and can’t hold onto a man for more than 5 minutes doesn’t seem to matter. What matters is that they’re popular and to be like that, you have to be beautiful. And in our society, being beautiful means being skinny.
But does being beautiful really mean being skinny? According to the media, yes. More and more books and articles on weight loss and dieting appear in book stores and magazines, most of the celebs, actresses and supermodels are tall and sticky thin (or made to appear so with Photoshop) and even when we go shopping, most of the clothes seem to be designed for 13 year old girls instead than grown up women.
It’s no wonder most women aren’t comfortable with the way the look and even hate themselves. We are all supposed to be the same size and conform to an ideal of beauty that just isn’t attainable. Not even supermodels and celebs look as good in real life as they do in pictures and their photos are always airbrushed to remove cellulite, stretch marks and other imperfections they may have and to make them look even thinner. But why?
Who has decided that being sticky thin is beautiful? Is there a reason that explains why skinny should equal beautiful? We are told that we need to be skinny to find love but every time they interview men, they say they prefer women with curves. We are told that clothes look better on size 0 women but I beg to differ. Strapless tops look bad on flat-chested women just like maxi dresses don’t suit short gals. Different styles of clothes suit different body shapes and types and does anything look good on women who are so thin their bones are sticking out anyway?
We are told that we need to be skinny to get a job, and while it is true that a nice physical appearance can be an advantage sometimes, if you can’t do your job well and properly you’re gonna get fired or just not advance in your career. We tend to associate skinny with youth but losing too much weigh can actually have an aging effect and make you look older and gaunt.
But most importantly, being thin doesn’t mean being healthy. We’re always reminded of the dangers of being too fat but being too skinny is equally dangerous. The only way women can achieve a size 0 is by starving themselves or exercising all the time or both. That’s just gonna make you ill. You are depriving your body of carbs, minerals and nutrients it needs to function properly. Being too thin can also lead to osteoporosis, heart illnesses and to eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia. Is being thin really worth dying for? No, it ain’t.
So, next time someone tries to tell you that skinny is beautiful and you’re worthless if you don’t conform, don’t buy it. Stop feeling bad because you can’t achieve an unattainable standard of beauty and start questioning this dangerous message. People come in all shapes and sizes and they are all beautiful. Tall, short, thin, overweight, it is you. Embrace the way you look and stop trying to become someone you can never be. Stop worrying about your weight and focus on being healthy. Being confident and feeling good about yourself, smiling and treating people with respect, being proud of who you are and of what you have achieved and can achieve, that’s beautiful.
Do you feel the pressure to be thin too? Do you think that being thin means being beautiful?