This was an article I had written for an assignment over the Christmas break. And I strongly believe that EVERY girl MUST read this article!
What is it about “body image” that send girls all over the world into panic mode? Especially teenage girls! Why do they feel the need to have the “perfect body”? Why can’t they accept their body for what it is…love themselves for exactly the way they are?
As I walked into New Look with my 13 year old niece, I was enticed by all the beautiful clothes around me. My niece needed a black-and-white dress for her Society Ball and I was with her to help her pick out the perfect outfit. And of course, to look at the beautiful new collection at New Look!
Suddenly I heard my niece squeal in excitement! She pointed to the perfect gown! As we looked through the rack, she sighed and said “This dress is available in every other size except size 12!! I hate that I’m fat! I wish I had the perfect body.” And I was stunned because, according to me, my niece had a perfectly normal body type and figure!
Young girls all over the world strive to attain, what they think is, the “perfect body”. Girls as young as 10 feel pressure to have a “perfect” body. And sometimes, this leads to them using laxatives to maintain their body image or also to anorexia and bulimia.
I attribute all of this to the recent fashion trends. Size Zero seems to be the latest “in thing” in the world of fashion, beauty and style! If you aren’t a size zero, you are just not good enough. Victoria Beckham seems to be the new role model for young girls as they struggle for her rake-thin look. Barbie is now FAT!
Of course, Posh Spice isn’t the only one to blame. The media plays an extremely large role in the propagation of the “thin is in” message. Pick up a magazine or switch on the television, and all you see is hoards of extremely attractive and extremely THIN women. Rarely will we see a plus size woman in a magazine or as the lead role on television.
According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA,) “the media is the main source of information about women’s health issues” for adolescent girls. In addition, NEDA finds that, “1 out of every 3.8 television commercials sends some sort of ‘attractiveness message,’ and the average adolescent sees an estimated 5,260 attractiveness messages per year.”
All this leads to young girls yearning for the perfect body. Leads them to resort to unhealthy means to attain their vision of a perfect body. Girls need different role models. Instead of Victoria Beckham, it should be Adele who young girls look up to. But that isn’t possible due to the amount of comments in the media about Adele’s weight and body type.
This completely prevents girls from having a positive opinion about their own body type and shape. Young girls need to believe that they are perfect the way they are. They need to accept their body type for what it is.
Young girls need to understand that there are many different body types in the world. There’s stocky, willowy, lanky, petite, muscular and so on. You don’t choose what body type you have. You are born with it. And you need to accept it for exactly how it is.
For example, I have long since accepted the fact that I’m tall with wide hips, an hourglass figure, long legs and a pretty medium sized bust. That is exactly how I will look either fat or thin. There will just be less or more of me. No matter how much I try, I cannot achieve the narrow model look. But I can still tone my body to suit my body type.
This is what young girls today need to understand. They need to realize that they are perfectly fine the way they are. They need to identify the positives of their body type and work on that. Also, it would help to keep the words of Bruno Mars in mind- “Girl you’re amazing just the way you are”.
So girls, you are beautiful and perfect exactly the way you are. And don’t let anyone tell you any different. Keep in mind that no body is “perfect”. The “perfect body” is just an illusion. And remember girls, boys like a girl who they can cuddle up to. Not a girl with her bones sticking out and poking him when he attempts to hug her. And THAT is the truth of the matter!