We’re a body obsessed culture and that comes with the territory when you’re a society that has shifted from being molded by the sources in which allow you live to what’s hot in the media. Back in the day the overweight were the standard for not only grace and beauty, take a look at the art that hangs in museums once in awhile, but they were the rich. The poor were the rail thin figures who couldn’t muster up a nickel for a piece of bread and a bowl of mush. Then technology and whatnot started to make eating more of a hobby than a necessity. So today, that teamed with the rise of influence pop culture has on us – made for one very bodily conscious world. People with full figures went from admired to the butt of the joke. King Henry was royalty, Peter Griffin – a stooge. As they say, “thin was in,” but even today we’re bombarded with a cascade of messages that really sums up to – there is no ideal way to look, but that doesn’t stop us from yearning for it, whatever it may be.
Twiggy was the first model to really make extremely thin a thing. Women wished for nothing more to have the waist of a toddler, and not the cute chunky ones that once appeared on Maury before that show became nothing more than a lab for men to try and prove they “were not the father.” With that of course comes the onslaught of a number of eating disorders because when it comes to “beauty,” some will do just about anything. From foot binding centuries ago in China to keep up the petite standing, to the anorexia and bulimia that began to pop up thanks to people just wanting to match what they saw on the runways, in movies, on magazines and on television. Thin seemed to be the way of the world for some time and then BOOM, in walked buxom babes of the 80’s and 90’s and suddenly we not only had to have that toddler-sized waist, but we now had to have the proportions of Barbie, or rather – Pamela Anderson? It’s even shifted once more, to the backside thanks to hip hop showcasing the appreciation for a plump behind. Oh yeah, and possibly the reign of the Kardashian klan had something to do with that as well.
Which, we’ve kind of gone full circle now because of the “body posi” movement which celebrates people of all sizes. So now let’s review, thin still seems to be in there somewhere, but now you have to have a booty and boobies, and you can have voluptuous curves. Wait, what? What’s the “right” way to be then? Exactly, there’s no size when it comes to beauty but many fail to see that and when they don’t fit into a particular size at the store, or the scale reads more or less than they feel it should, they’re view of who they are goes down in stock.
Hold up, most of those standards were aimed towards women, but let’s be real – women get the whole “be perfect” thing pushed on them way more than their male counterparts BUT that’s not to say dudes aren’t sold what’d make them “hot” either. Think of the most attractive man in the world that most would say if surveyed – totally Family Feud style. Who comes to mind? David Beckham and those abs of steel, Idris Elba and that silky smooth voice, Chris Hemsworth and those toned-to-death arms, and so forth and so on. Well, your average dude does not look like that. In fact, like many women on those magazines, no man looks like that really. It’s all smoke and mirrors and everyone has something about them that could be considered an imperfection. Beckham’s body may be godlike but that voice? It sounds like mine and I’ve been told I sound “perfect for cartoons” aka “you sound like a comical mouse or wood nymph.”
As the great Hannah Montana once sung, “Nobody’s perfect!” If that’s the case, why can’t we realize this and just be done with these so-called beauty standards and be fine with who we are, at whatever size we are? Nope, never going to happen. We can shove all the body-posi stuff down our throats all we want, but we wake up feeling a little bigger than we did yesterday and most of us will let it make us feel like shit the rest of the day. That shouldn’t be the case, but ironically enough, a lot of our self-worth is put on a scale and weight is typically the number one thing that pulls us under and makes us feel less than. Again, that’s if you’re “too thin” or “too big,” when really, there’s no ideal size out there for any of us. I mean, would most ladies want to have Beyonce’s killer thighs and Olivia Wildes smouldering stare? Of course, but that’s only because one is a pop singer pushed down our throats and the other is the spokesperson for makeup so she’s basically the cover girl for what our eyes should and need to look like.
The Highs and Lows of Weight
- According to NEDA, there are about 43 million women in the US dieting at any given time.
- Eating Disorder Hope stated that anorexia has the highest death rate for any mental illness.
- 35.7% of adults in the US are considered obese.
- Do Something reported that some 24 million people in the US have an eating disorder, and that half of those people suffer from depression.
- The number of bulimic girls between the ages of 10-39 tripled between the late 80’s and early 90’s.
Tomorrow a woman who’s shed the pounds, but more importantly why. Then some insights of the former secretary of her friend’s Fat Kids Club, Melissa McCarthy’s small screen love and a lovely weekly cap – a top 10.