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Sadly, I’m a 19 year old girl (no that’s not the sad part) and for a long time I’ve been aware being squidgy, having cellulite and a belly pooch don’t add up to make the perfect bikini body.
So at 15 I started working out, stopped having sausage rolls daily and it worked, I was slim, people would comment on my weight loss, or my transformation, I was so proud of myself and to this day I’m thankful that I have this healthy attitude.
So I guess your thinking ‘okay great well done you, where’s your funny lists?!’ But just bear with me, what I’m trying to point out is that I probably train and work out so I could be accepted by everyone else. So I could be ‘attractive’ and could wear skinny jeans like all my friends.
And where did I get these ideas? Well as you might know I recently gave up beauty magazines, well at 15 I was reading them more and more, reading these kind of ‘get better legs’ articles and seeing beautiful slender women grace the pages and all the time a little naggley feeling in my head would be saying ‘ I’ll never look that good’.
And that’s just not healthy. But then on top off these images that were splashed across the media, it was beautiful slender women in films and TV programmes who achieved a whole new level of slimness! They looked slim while moving! And again this little naggley thing in my head would be saying ‘I’ll never be so beautiful’ and I would feel bad about myself again.
Now it’s not often now I feel this way, i feel pretty grown up and secure that I’m not unhealthy and it’s very rare that I get these bad feelings about myself. Usually when they do arrive now it’s when I look on Instagram too much but then with the closing of an app it’s gone.
But isn’t it just amazing? The power these media giants have over us? Nobody ever said explicitly that I should lose weight and I was never overweight maybe just chubby, people were always very polite and my mum protected me by never having scales in the house. But I knew. I knew from every niggley feeling that if I wanted to be ‘pretty’ or ‘accepted’ I should get slim.
And to me now it seems a bit toxic, that the main reason I wanted to be slim was for other people. But I think that’s the reality, instead of showing girls that working out and eating healthier has greater health benefits, all the focus is on aesthetics. What you’ll look like in the end, how your before and after will look like side by side, not that you reduce your risk of heart disease and that there’s a greater improvement on mental health, just to be like the slim girls in the magazines.
In my opinion these images of rail thin supermodels or articles on how to get a better body should be used with extreme caution and if you are going to give health tips tell people more than just one benefit: being slim, tell them about being healthy.
What do you think?