“Yeah, no kidding,” is what you’re probably thinking after reading that headline. At least, it’s what I hope you’re thinking. How do we band together as a society, one committed to health and wellness, and fight this worldwide epidemic to be skin and bones?
This is truly terrifying. Women are more willing to sacrifice their metabolism, muscle mass, and sanity in order to look a certain way in wedding photos. The fact that the “tube diet” has been popular in Europe, particularly Italy (where I spent three months living in 2009) is madness to me. I had been duped into thinking that moderation and cigarettes were what kept the Italian women slender. I see, however, that fad and crash diets are prevalent worldwide. This only alarms me further. How do we fight back? How do we redefine what “attractive” and “healthy” looks like? Or do we just let them go, shoving tubes in their noses and subsisting on juice concoctions, and work to construct a healthy and positive nook of this society for the rest of us to live?
I don’t want to succumb to abandoning my fellow women – and human beings, for that matter – but it’s terribly frustrating to feel so strongly against something that other people do in their own lives. Shouldn’t I just butt out and figure it isn’t my business? Shouldn’t I just tend to my own healthy lifestyle, my own healthy and wholesome diet, my own yoga practice, and positive outlook? Sure, I could do that. But as I mentioned before, I’m concerned for posterity. I am terrified that this epidemic is going to grow. That the “perfect” image will begin more and more to reflect starvation and will remain hidden under name brand garments and masqueraded as “desirable.” It saddens me that, in affluent nations where food is aplenty and obesity is the enemy, people are shrinking purposefully…while third world countries remain littered with malnourished bodies. Something is terribly out of balance here.
Please know that in writing this, I am still a young woman who fights the same urges, who sees the itsy-bitsy celebrities and has to catch myself when I am flooded with the response that they’re successful, perfect and victors of the “body games.” It is this precise reaction I hope to stop, with my writing and my passion, but it doesn’t stop at the physical. I find that I hold myself to the “celebrity” standards and that somehow being “tiny” with visible hipbones above my low-rise jeans is the epitome of “sexy.” In fact, I remember reading probably ten years ago (and who knows where I saw an In Style magazine, or whatever it was, at 13 but nonetheless I saw it) and there was a photo of Tara Reid. The caption said something along the lines of, “Her razor sharp hipbones, coveted by girls everywhere,” blah blah blah. From that day forward I coveted my own hipbones. Now, if your body is made long and slender then it is what it is. But there are short women out there, there are rounder more plump women, who are BEAUTIFUL. But who would be starving themselves in order to “sport the razor sharp hipbones” like this magazine said, as though they were an accessory.
I am blabbering, but my point is, why are we not taught to love our bodies however they are made, in their healthiest and most well state?
My hope is for us to change our outlook. To keep moving our bodies, be it walking or yoga or tennis, and fueling ourselves with a balanced blend of real and healthy foods, and then owning the resulting physical shape with utmost confidence. To realize that we are being sold the body, sold the outfits, sold the marriage, sold the lifestyle of celebrities who are – as the headline says – “not known for doing things that are necessarily the healthiest or most sensible.” So, let’s define our own lives. Our own lifestyles. Our own wellness. Shall we?