To celebrate, I will discuss body image.
A boring and oft-detailed phenomenon, but who am I to buck it.
I hear media blame a lot. At my school Monday was “Media Sucks” day, which I think is pushing it a little. As we’ve seen recently, the media doesn’t always dictate popular views. I don’t think most heterosexual men find the sight of a skeletal woman all that attractive (I don’t blame them, it’s completely against evolutionary cues of fertility!), yet women seem to buy into this illusion more often. I can’t explain it. The “clothes-hanger” look isn’t what I consider the ideal woman, but even that is a type of prejudice and distortion of healthy body image in a way.
Some girls are naturally thin. Their bodies are built with little curves for whatever reason and that should be okay too. I should know, I’m one of them. I’m a short, skinny Asian. It’s not necessarily something I’m proud of, nor is it something I abhor. It’s just something I’m born with and I don’t consider it ideal, but it’s who I am and that’s okay.
Some girls are naturally curvaceous. That’s great too.
I think the celebration of body types leads to a preference of one over another, and that’s not right. If we just view it as something that is instead of something that should be one thing or another, something to be glamorized, critiqued. There should be less of this attention of body size good or bad. It just feeds the fixation.
We blame media a lot for our own ills – I think it’s a reason for the continuation of such negative feelings. We can blame something and continue to do the same things, think the same thoughts, and not take any of the responsibility. We can say “well, the media makes me think this way”, be aware that this entity called “the media” feeds the problem, and continue to drink from their well.
Yeah, the entertainment industry has a hand in the unhealthy outlooks on body, but we buy into it. We like it. We want it. This new celebrity obsession trend doesn’t help. We live in a capitalistic society, we live by the market – and in our own tiny way, we control the market, we control what is sold by choosing to buy what we buy.
Thinner isn’t always better. It should not be the number of pounds shed that should be the indicator of success but the health benefits. Exercise is good not because it makes you lose weight or inches, but because it strengthens your heart, lungs, etc. and gives you energy to live longer. Eating healthy isn’t great because you can lose a size, it’s good because your body will be able to work better, more efficiently, and for longer. Weight has no business in being healthier to a moderate sense. People should be the size most healthy for them, which is different for everyone and should not be based on the scale.
Fixating on body, even blog posts as inconsequential as this one, is one of the major roadblocks to true freedom and a healthy view on body image. It should not be a most-discussed topic because for many, it’s just how we are built. We should strive to be healthy and to live our best life, but we should not be focused on what number the scale says. I hope one day it will all become white noise and I can get along without being reminded about how horrible, or how great, my body is. I am more than that.
(Guys can have your say too, I think my opinion is broad enough to fit it.)