Monday, 21 May 2012

Everyone's beautiful.

These days all we seem to see are images of slim, tanned, beautiful women, be it from magazines, tv, the internet, or even just in our everyday lives. These women are praised for how healthy and beautiful they are, and yes, some may live healthy lifestyles and be beautiful, but that's not always the case. Many of the models we see on catwalks don't eat much at all, so much so that it's actually unhealthy, for example Victoria's Secret model Adriana Lima has admitted that for eight days before a fashion show, she eats no solids, only protein shakes. How can a diet like this ever be seen as healthy? Yes, the image of a slim person is seen as the image of a healthy person as that is the body shape you'd expect to get from living a balanced lifestyle with a balanced diet.

In reality, healthy comes in all shapes and sizes. It isn't just your lifestyle and diet that can affect your size, many other factors can contribute; genetics and metabolism included, meaning that whilst a person may eat a fantastically balanced diet, exercise regularly and generally take care of themselves, their metabolism may prevent them from losing weight, henceforth stopping them from getting that body that is stereotyped as being healthy.

As a result of this image we are constantly bombarded with by the media, the majority of young girls, and boys too, just not at such a high rate, feel that it is expected of society for them to look like these women. The Royal College of Psychiatrists have found that Anorexia Nervosa affects roughly 1 in 150 fifteen year old girls in the UK, which when you think about it is quite an alarming statistic. I think back to when I was 15, which yes was only two years ago, but still, I went to an all girls school and there were roughly 180 girls in my year, that means that if the statistic was to be applied to my year in school, one or two of the girls I knew may have been battling anorexia. I it this both shocking and upsetting that girls feel the need to starve themselves in order to be socially acceptable.

I understand the desire to be thinner, I myself have never exactly been slim. I'm a size 10-12 and have lumps and bumps that I'm not exactly happy with. I've hated my body in the past, but now I'm learning to appreciate it. I come from a family where none of us are particularly small, therefore I understand that I'm not destined to be a size 8, and I know that realistically, I probably never will be a size 8. If I look back to this time last year I felt as though I had to lose weight. I was leaving school, ready to move onto sixth form. I knew that the majority of the girls at my new sixth form were slim, therefore believed that in order to fit in and be accepted I'd need to lose weight. I tried, but it just wasn't happening, I just don't have the motivation to stick to it. All of the worrying was for no reason. I have a great group of friends that don't care about how everyone looks. I have a boyfriend who loves my curves as it means I have boobs and a bum, and hey, what guy doesn't like boobs & bums?! Whilst I do still have insecurities about the way I look - I mean who wouldn't want legs like Jennifer Aniston's or a stomach as toned as J-Lo's? - I've learned to live with them.

What I'm trying to say is that yes, it would be lovely if everyone could be a size 8 and absolutely stunning, but we're human, and that isn't going to happen. We were each created as individuals, with our own shapes, sizes, colours, etc. Don't judge yourself against others, it will just bring you down. There will always be someone out there who is prettier or thinner than you, but that's life. If everyone carries on worrying about the way they look and competing to be the best, life will just be boring with no variety.

Embrace the way you look. Every single person can be beautiful, so long as they feel it on the inside, it will show on the outside.

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