Stretching the Waistband

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Health and Fitness  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is an essay about the way the media portrays body image and how it needs to change.

Submitted: August 17, 2016

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Submitted: August 17, 2016

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I was scrolling through Instagram, as I often do on commercial breaks of my favorite TV shows, when the billionth #AerieReal post appeared in my feed. Usually I just like the picture and keep scrolling but today’s posts caught my attention. The first to make me stop scrolling was an over weight woman lounging on a beach chair in a bikini and the second, not many hours later, was the same woman in a bikini video clip. Now, I have to clarify that I think all body types are beautiful and that it is not the purpose of this piece to belittle any human being. That being said, it is impossible for this nation to complain about a weight epidemic when there are companies promoting overweight women as the new normal. So many times in the past year I’ve seen magazine covers with plus size models that are size 22, and TV shows about women who are even larger. The way children and teens are reacting to this new media trend is just as bad as promoting stick thin models. These industries play such a huge role in the way young women perceive themselves and I think the message needs to change. People complained that the super skinny models in typical photo shoots were contributing to eating disorders and portraying an unrealistic expectation about the size a beautiful woman should be but isn’t this the same? Over eating is a disorder that involves self-control just like anorexia or bulimia. In this day and age you’d think we would have a modeling campaign focused on health and not just size. There are women who practice yoga, run and dance countless hours of the day and still wear size 8 pants, and that’s okay; but if you do those things and are a size 00 that’s okay too. I want to see a #real campaign that showcases women of all sizes living healthy and fit lifestyles. We need to shift the focus off this stretching waistband and onto the important things these role models should be. 


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