All Bodies are Good Bodies
145 to 100. To most people, these two numbers hold little to no significance. To me, these numbers represent a drastic, and dangerous change in my life that can be highly counted towards societal pressures to be thin.
When I was 12 years old I was diagnosed with anorexia and bulimia nervosa. In a few short months I went from being healthy and happy, to being told I could drop dead at any given moment due to how weak my heart and fragile my body had become due to my drastic, and unhealthy weight loss. I jeopardized my health and my life to try to fit the mold of what I had been made to believe was the feminine norm.
The tragic part of this is that this wasn’t just my life.
20 million women, and 10 million men around the world are also painfully struck by the grasp of eating disorders at some point in their life. Not to discount the men who have to struggle through this illness, but this ratio, along with the findings from one study claiming that 95% of women without eating disorder symptoms overestimate the size of their bodies, helps illustrate the high pressure women are faced with to be thin.
In today’s world, women are told consistently through magazines and social media ways in which they can lose, control, or take notice of their weight. These messages are then typically accompanied by images of thin, fit, and pretty women which has led to creating a prevailing idea of “skinny equals pretty.”
This concept, though, enforces a sense of inferiority in women. It tells them that their bodies are not enough, and that they can always drop a few pounds to further enhance their appearance. Women have been led to believe that dieting, starving, or any other method of losing weight is going to make them more aesthetically pleasing.
Women’s bodies are no longer their own. They are subjected to constant judgement and nitpicking from a society that places too high of an importance on superficial attributes. This stigma also aids in discouraging inner capabilities and characteristics; as if a woman’s intelligence, ambition, and personality comes second hand to how much weight she carries around.
This trend cannot live on. Girls cannot live constantly hating their bodies because the media has told them to do so.
Advertising and revenue does not hold a higher importance than millions of girls lives. The idea that weight correlates with beauty is a myth that society has invoked, and it is needed to be realized that these messages are not just promoting “a healthy lifestyle;” they promote harming and destructive ideas.
It is time for women to regain ownership of their bodies. Society and the media should no longer idealize and objectify women – acting as if their only duty is to be aesthetically pleasing.
All bodies are good bodies. There is no prototype for what the “perfect” human form is, because there is no such thing as a “non-perfect” body – it is simply society telling us that there is. This is the message that needs to be spread. This is the message that will impact positive change.
If you need to talk to someone about an disordered eating or body image, here are some places to start:
- UVic Collaborative Eating Disorders Clinic
- Resources for Body Image and Disordered Eating
- VIHA Eating Disorders
- NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association)
This is very powerful and well written! I love it!
Thank you so much!
Love, love, love this. Thank you for sharing!!