I’m going to be honest and say that I’m self conscious about my body weight (amongst a few other things), a lot of people are. Why am I so worried that I don’t have a flat tummy like the other girls or like the models in the magazines? I thought that people would love me more, nobody likes a fat kid, I mean those women look beautiful, slim, graceful and lithe. Society has painted this picture that skinny or slim women are beautiful and desirable and I was mesmerized by the pretty colours and wanted to be in that painting.
There was a point in my life, around 7th grade, that I began to eat less and less (I did not stop eating at together) and exercised more than I should when I should have gotten more sleep instead. I got my results, I dropped a few pounds, yippie, though I felt much weaker physically and mentally. The dreaded pounds caught up with me again after a while and by now I was just frustrated and more self conscious than before.
I read a lot, all kinds of books with all kind of stories and information and lessons the authors have learned over their years. I can’t remember exactly what I had read or what I had seen on television that had snagged my attention. The question was why was it important to be skinny? I stated my reasons above. But it got me thinking, is it important what people thought about me if I was fat? Shouldn’t it be about the person who I am inside? I could lose weight and gain it all back again but the person who I am will not change. Skinny does not necessarily mean smart or, as I’ve come to accept, beautiful or even healthy.
I was very young when I learned that many of those fashion models starve themselves for that size 1 or 2 or 0 and I was horrified. Me, who would not ever give up on chocolate and mom’s cheese sandwiches, was shocked, but as I’ve mentioned earlier above about 7th grade I kind of got over it. Now I realized that it is dangerous to my health and well being. This image that girls are attractive because of their waist-lines are sending the wrong message to girls and young women. It shouldn’t be about beauty, but about their brains.
Let me be clear:
1. Slim is not really bad, it’s how you go about getting there. With a healthy and balanced diet and regular exercise you’re on the right path. Starving, binging and then throwing it all up again is absolutely not the way. It damages you, inside and out.
2. The main reason anyone should have for losing weight is to be healthy, and if you just want to do it for the looks, then by all means go for it but do it right as I’ve just said.
3. The most important thing is the person you are under the surface of your physical self.
4. I’m not saying everyone is that shallow but the message about the skinny image is targeted to young girls and more often than not, it hits the mark and self esteem. Many girls believe it but they need to be told the truth, that in whatever size and shape they are, they are beautiful and radiant just the way they are and nothing can change that.
You said it Selina! (Omg, I just had a freaky moment of deja vu! … I’m okay now) She’s one to talk, huh? Well she is beautiful but she sheds what she can until she is left, no make up or fancy clothing, just the essentials and herself. Anyone and everyone is beautiful and we should all embrace ourselves. As my favourite author had said:
“Is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me.”
― J.K. Rowling
Cosmetic and clothing companies have mastered the fine art of advertisement their candy coated words appeal to our emotions, everybody has to make their money but you as a consumer and a person has to be smart, purchase what you want but know yourself, no one knows you better than you.
Today at almost 18, I’m 140 lbs and around 5 ft. 9” (I averaged) and I’m comfortable enough in my skin but I’m still a little insecure but I’m working to get past that, I aim to exercise as much as I should and eat as well. My friends and family accept me for who I am and that’s what is important to me. When it comes to the person with whom I’ll be sharing the rest of my life with I’ll know him when he says “D, I love you” and mean it even if I’m not a catwalk model.
Thoughts? Please do share, we all need to help and support our friends and each other and to get the message across.
P.S: For the record, I never binged or stuck my finger down my throat, I never considered doing that and I never will.
Related articles that I really recommend:
- Girls and Body Image Tips (commonsensemedia.org)
- If you’re not skinny, you’re not pretty (hairlustandstardust.wordpress.com)
- I Don’t Want to be Society’s Idea of Beautiful (secretsofabrowneyedgirl.wordpress.com)