Measuring Up

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had some trouble with my appearance. Whether it was because of the ambiguity of my ethnicity or my brothers teasing me, I’d spent a long time struggling with my insecurities. One thing that’s always stuck with me, though, is a focus on my weight. I know what you’re thinking – how  predictable and shallow for a girl to pull the weight card. But I know for a fact that I am not alone in feeling this way.

My entire life, one simple phrase, as well as it’s many variations, has seemed to frequent the lips of nearly every female I’d ever met. “I need to lose weight.” Having had this resound through my own head on multiple occasions, I am at a full realization of how completely stressful it can be. So much so, that it forces girls into taking drastic measures, considering that I could easily name at least five girls off the top of my head that have struggled with an eating disorder. (Not at all to say that I am struggling with that myself, food and I have a very active relationship.) Reality really hit when I overheard my ten-year-old sister exclaim that she’d gotten fat and needed to stop eating. Mind you, that was her fifth grade melodramatic imagination talking, but it was nonetheless disturbing to hear from a little girl with a well-defined six-pack.

Too thin or thin enough?

I’m sure all the guys have stopped reading by now, since girls who complain about their bodies are a dime a dozen these days, but I think there’s something to be said if it’s an epidemic reaching even the skinniest of girls. For now, I’m working on my own body peace, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t stress me out. Perhaps our society should spent a little less time putting emphasis on those who are overweight and a little more time encouraging each other to be healthy rather than skinny.


5 Responses to “Measuring Up”

  1. 1 whitneyroberts February 28, 2011 at 11:37 pm


    I really liked this post because it is so true! Many girls regardless of their figure are probably scrutinizing and criticizing themselves based on what society has projected the ideal figure to be.

    I feel like a lot of women today when compared to the icons of the era of Marilyn Monroe would be considered average or in some cases even “skinny”, however when placed beside the ideal figure of this time (say for example the Victoria’s Secret Angels.. no hate intended, GO VS!!) would be considered absolutely obese!

    I really feel as though society needs to place more of an emphasis on health rather than size, as you say. Case in point my roommate who is by NO MEANS fat, in fact, I am sure many girls envy her shape/body, but as she pops hydroxycut pills she exclaims “these pills are amazing! I only ate ONCE today!”.

    I am sure many girls in her position share the same feelings (as you made an example with your sister).

    I feel like society needs to regress when it comes to what is considered “ideal” in terms of body weight. We also need to take into account the diversity of the human population and embrace the fact that no two people and their body builds are the same.

    While we progress with technology and other ways of making life fun and interesting, we need to regress back to the days where a size 16 (the GORGEOUS Marilyn Monroe) was BEAUTIFUL!

  2. 2 Laura March 1, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    This topic caught my attention because it is something that is so close to every girl’s heart. In the last few years I’ve gain about fifteen pounds and it is now getting to me because I have been thinking of it as “Is ok, is part of my development and just growing in general.” Now, is a realization that metabolism is slowing down and that I really need to be careful when feeling emotional not to overeat or eat only sugary/fatty foods like comfort foods (what a name!).

    When you brought up about the fact that perfectly healthy children are starting feel to like they need to lose weight made me realize that this is something that we, as next generation of people running the world, need to keep in mind when working in the real world: Our voice can be heard about the importance the promotion/advertisement of being healthy instead of being skinny, like you mentioned.

  3. 3 Marianna Wills March 2, 2011 at 12:44 am

    This also caught my eye because I for one am never particularly happy with the way my body looks. For my senior project for high school, I even ran a marathon. I played lots of soccer all throughout my junior high and high school years and I have to say that at the end of my senior year, I felt great. I was really fit. I finished my marathon, a bit longer than I wanted, but I finished it, and was really proud of my acomplishment. But since my knees sounded like a creaky door and my hips popped with almost every stride I took, I cut very far back on my running. Now, I am no longer in the shape that I used to be and I think about how I used to be a lot.
    I would agree the worst problem is that our culture idolizes the very skinny people over fittness. I also will say that the VS models are great, but what we should truly want to strive towards are the people who are skinny becuase they are physically fit. These people’s bodies look great becuase their systems are in balance and their bodies are trained to use up energy from the meals they eat in a useful way. This is the image that we should work towards. Beauty should not be only about our thin-ness, but also our strength.

  4. 4 mdpacifico March 3, 2011 at 1:36 am

    Your comment at the end of your post really stuck out at me, about society should really spend more time focusing on girls to be healthy rather than skinny. Today’s media is definitely a huge stressor to most people in today’s society. For the media constantly puts pressure on us to be what we can’t possibly be and have what the average person can’t possible have. Being super skinny like the models in magazines is a perfect example of this media caused stress. Perhaps magazines should print more articles on stress reducing techniques rather than doing just the opposite by printing stories and pictures that stress us out.

  5. 5 alilogue March 13, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    i also agree with this, most girls wont admit it or they will just be fake and say it doesnt really bother them.. everyday you see more and more ads about losing weight or seeing the skinniest girls on the front and everyone says i wish i could be like that.. but honestly all you need to do is be yourself. but the way i have looked at it now is if i have a problem with my body then i would change it. i know go to the gym about four times a week for at least an hour and half. its time consumming but honestly it makes you feel ten times better.. one you dont really know what you are eating in estes and two its a big stress releaver.. i recommend it.

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