I was browsing around on Pinterest the other day when I came across this:
My first reaction when I saw this was to snigger and think ‘really’? But my next reaction was one of shock and alarm. Why, you may ask? Because some women posted comments that were in total agreement with this statement. And this set me thinking about the power that the media in general has over women and their bodies. I would have thought that after so many celebrities have come public about their own battles with anorexia and bulimia, a message like this would be considered both banal and unacceptable. Apparently not. Now I am all for healthy eating, and I see nothing wrong with eliminating junk food, but do some women still not realize that eating a balanced diet is essential? And that population genetics plays a big part in our body shape? That it is normal for a woman to have some curves or some fat and that we can’t all look like walking planks? Why we beat ourselves up constantly about our body shape is beyond me – and I am saying we because I know of very few men who go to the extremes that some women do to look skinny. In fact, in this long list of celebrities who have spoken openly about their eating disorders there is only one man (Elton John and, without any disrespect to Sir Elton, we all know he is not an archetypical male). What scares me is the effect that a statement like the one above will have on teenage girls, especially on those who already have self-esteem and self-image problems. We have become obsessed with our appearance for all the wrong reasons. It seems that the superficial has taken precedence over what really matters.
Perhaps it’s about time that all women take a good look at their shape, at their body frame and like what we see in the mirror. Perhaps it’s about time that we embrace ourselves as we are. And perhaps the poster below should be displayed along-side adverts featuring impossibly thin models.
After all, all cigarette boxes come with a health warning. So why should the attainment of an impossible body weight not come with its own?