Good Morning World!
I hope this doesn’t turn into another one of my many ramblings. I am a currently doing feminism for my Extended Project in Sixth Form, and it led me to a particular topic that I wanted to address: body image, and particularly how the beauty standards that the media promotes come integrated into our minds and cause us to hate the way we look. This is an issue that affects everyone, although I do believe that women are affected by it more. Ever since we were children we have always been taught that part of our value as humans depends upon on our physical appearance. I do not feel as though I need to justify this, as it is evident that women have more pressure put on them to look a certain way, than men. Society tends to react in a more negative way when women do not meet the idea beauty than when men don’t.
I have always had a rather slight figure, which don’t get me wrong can have its advantages, however what most people don’t realise is that it can also have its down sides. I have always had people come up to me and say “You need to eat more”, “You’re so skinny” “Are you anorexic?” or “You need to put some meat on your bones”. I know that they don’t mean it in a demeaning way, however this really put an damper on my self confidence. Being called “Skinny” is in no shape or form a compliment, so why do people continue to use it as one? People seems to think that it is okay for them to call me skinny, but horrible for me to call them fat? It is the same thing. Its pretty stereotypical that the fat kid doesn’t want to get into the swimming pool or get dressed for P.E because they are afraid of the names and torment they will receive, but this is how I felt every time I was made to do physical education. I would absolutely hate getting undressed merely because of the fact people would comment on my body, and how “disgusting” and “anorexic” it was. As a result of this I use to sit at home and eat absolute crap in a demeaning attempt to put on some weight, so that I could ‘please’ the people around me.
You always think about larger people going through a tough time trying to lose weight, but no one ever thinks this about slimmer people.
With popular culture starting to side with slightly larger people, it has become increasingly difficult for me to classify myself as ‘beautiful’. Such artists like Meghan Trainor and Nicki Minaj, have been shaping the idea of beauty from songs like “All About That Bass” and “Anaconda”, which put women down for having smaller frames, and saying that men would prefer curvier women like themselves. I completely understand that their target audiences would be more curvy women however, girls and women with smaller frames like myself already feel like guys wouldn’t want to be near us because we “have nothing to offer them”.
The media have now adopted these views, and I have seen edits all over social media concerning ideal body size. It expresses that only real men go for curves, which is rather hurtful for any smaller women. Social media seems to be going on the basis that only curvy women are real women, and ignoring that fact that all women are beautiful. These posts make it harder and harder for me to accept the way I am. I absolutely hate going out and showing off my legs, or my stomach incase someone was to comment on how skinny I was. I cannot tell you how many nights I have spent in front of the mirror obsessing over my figure, and how I long to have curves and feel beautiful with the body that I have.
I find it massively distressing how so many people ignore the little things like genes, bone structure, or metabolism, they immediately jump to the conclusion that there is only one definition of beautiful. I think the moral of the story is that is it never acceptable to comment on anyone’s body or way of life. The way their body is, isn’t always their fault. If you love the skin you’re in, then people will commend you for it. F*ck the haters.
You are Beautiful.