My best friend is beautiful. Not this new modern plaster the makeup on beautiful, classic 1950’s beautiful. She looks good with or without makeup. When we go out together people stop and look. Yet she see’s none of this. Brought up in a world obsession with size 0 and airbrushed photos. She fights a battle between herself and the mirror every day.
In a survey of men, her figure was described as ideal. Yet she believes she is overweight. I have heard her on more than one occasion describe herself as disgusting. As women, we are the most critical of other women. This constant criticism leads to anxiety. Anyone who looks attractive is often criticised by other women. Why other women do not support each other more is beyond my comprehension.
Being sexy is about attitude, not body type. It’s a state of mind.
The most publicised eating disorders are anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Both are known and discussed on a regular basis outside of medicine. Most patients seek treatment for an eating disorder which is not specific. A staggering 1.6 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder. 11% of these are male. Male eating disorders have taken a dramatic rise over the last couple of years. Recently men are being faced with as much criticism as women in the press. Young boys striving to reach the media’s idea of a perfect body. Using eating disorders to achieve their goals. Eating disorders remain one of the most misunderstood types of mental illness. It also has the highest mortality rate of any mental illnesses.
Another phenomenon taking over my Facebook feed is the runners. Groups have been set up throughout the country to encourage people to run. I don’t understand it, it frustrates me when every other status is about how far someone has run. Now I’m not saying running is bad for you. It is actually very good for you. The concern should come when exercise is used as a form of dieting to excess. If a person works out with the sole purpose of losing all calories consumed in that day.
People who are thin are considered to be healthy. People who are overweight are considered to be unhealthy. Never is diet and muscle tone taken into consideration. A person who has starved themselves for many months is actually less healthy than someone who eats a healthy diet but remains a few pounds overweight.
We live in a society where looks rank higher than achievement and intellect. Models are considered more desirable than professors and doctors. Status is judged on how many followers you have, rather than how many GCSE’s you have.
As a new mother, I believe it is time to take a stand. Stand against magazines who only use size 0 models. Magazines that airbrush their celebrities. I don’t want to know about the latest celebrity diet craze or how a slim celebrity has slimmed down even more. I want to know about real women who work hard and are happy with the size they are. I want my daughter to judge herself on her achievements and goals, not on her looks and figure.
Even the models we see in magazines wish they could look like their own images.
Cheri K. Erdman
I want my daughter to live in a society where celebrities are happy to appear as they are. Where the only filter I come across is in my coffee machine. Where academic achievements rate higher than looks.
I want my daughter to live in a society where she is happy just to be her.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Twitter @samharnold