Having a healthy body image means that a person accepts the way they look without trying to change their body to fit what they think they should look like since society portrays “what we should look like and be” in order to be accepted. This attitude is very dangerous because the greater our discontent with how we measure up when compared to what society tells us we “should” look like, the more negative our body image, and the greater the risk for extreme behaviors.
When you are talking about weight and women, you cannot wage war on obesity without waging war on the people who live in those “obese” bodies. No one should be bullied for their weight or food choices, but ‘fat pride’ promotes dangerous weight levels. And while shopping at Target, yet once again, I came across a T-shirt that said, “Every Body Is Beautiful” – and I found myself saying, “No,” out loud. Empowering women of non-Barbie proportions to feel good about themselves, is one thing. But suggesting that being a size 30 is just as healthy as being a size 12 isn’t a body-positive message either – it’s an irresponsible lie. And what is worse is the fact that these women are being used in the industry to sell products, clothes, and food designed to “celebrate” their non-skinny bodies.
Think about this for a second: smoking is an addiction that many struggle to control, as is weight, but we don’t celebrate it with social media campaigns about smoking pride the same as they do with “fat pride.” While what you do with your own body is your own business, actively encouraging unhealthy lifestyle choices and denying health risks with being obese on social media isn’t promoting body positivity, it’s the stepping stones to having an eating disorder. This idea that you are “fat but fit” is just a social media campaign that promotes being unhealthy all for a good buck.
Now, as I don’t agree that every woman needs to be a size 2 to be accepted, I think the main focus of society shouldn’t be the outer shell we are in, but rather who we are as people. The saying is true, “Looks fade, but personality and who you are is forever.”
When it comes to weight and women, it really is a catch 22: damned if you are skinny, and damned if you overweight and then talk about it all. Why can’t we just be allowed to celebrate WHO we are, not WHAT we look like? Remember, we create a legacy for ourselves. Do you want to be remembered on how you looked, or on your character?