October 20: Love Your Body Day
“Love Your Body Day” was founded by NOW: the National Organization for Women. I’m not much of a NOW fan because I don’t exactly see eye-to-eye with the modern feminist movement. However, I think “Love Your Body Day” is an excellent concept. Too many women hate – and yes, I really mean hate – the way that they look, when in reality there is nothing wrong with the way that they look; they may just be comparing themselves to unrealistic standards.
This sounds like common sense, but it is much more true than most people realize: overall, the media sends negative messages to women (and men) concerning what an attractive body type is. And I would venture to say that, in the entertainment industry, there is more “toleration” of men being overweight or nonmuscular than there is of women not being a size 0.
Magazines blast women for being too skinny:
But who can blame the women when the same magazines also blast women that they deem “fat,” unless they are declaring that they will try to lose weight:
(Granted, these are magazines that make me want to hurl and that I suggest nobody read…)
Apparently, Katie Featherston of “Paranormal Activity” is considered “fat” to some people:
…And so is Christina Hendricks of “Mad Men”:
Being bigger than a size 0, or even bigger than (God forbid) a size 6 does not make a woman fat.
These stats are from the Council on Size and Weight Discrimination, Inc:
- The average woman is 5’4″, weighs 140 pounds, and wears a size 14 dress.
- The “ideal” woman – portrayed by models, Miss America, Barbie dolls, and screen actresses – is 5’7″, weighs 100 pounds, and wears a size 2.
- One-third of all American women wear a size 16 or larger.
- 75% of all American women are dissatisfied with their appearance.
- 50% of American women are on a diet at any one time.
- Between 90% and 99% of reducing diets fail to produce permanent weight loss.
- Two-thirds of dieters regain the weight within one year. Virtually all regain it within five years.
- The diet industry (diet foods, diet programs, diet drugs, etc.) takes in over $40 billion each year and is still growing.
- Quick weight-loss schemes are among the most common consumer frauds, and diet programs have the highest consumer dissatisfaction of any service industry.
- Young girls are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of nuclear war, cancer, or losing their parents.
Here is my message to any woman: DO NOT let the number on the scale define you! Strive to be healthy above all else (there is a big difference between “healthy” and “skinny”). Use common sense…get physical activity at least 5x per week; Don’t eat excessively or too little; Don’t eat foods with too much fat or sugar; Try to follow the food pyramid; and…
If you want a cupcake, don’t be afraid to EAT A DAMN CUPCAKE EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE!!
Clarification: I do not advocate sitting on the couch, eating a pint of ice cream and not caring about its effects on your body. I advocate being healthy. Healthy is eating good food, indulging in moderation, and getting exercise. Healthy is NOT adopting a macrobiotic vegan diet, giving yourself vitamin D-12 shots, and spending 8 hours at the gym daily.
Model Crystal Renn wrote a book, Hungry, about surviving anorexia. She went from 95 lbs. to 165 lbs. and is gorgeous:
Karen Carpenter died at the age of 33 from “heartbeat irregularities brought on by chemical imbalances associated with anorexia nervosa.”
So many women are willing to put a price on looking “good”, and unfortunately some women will sacrifice their health or (probably unintentionally) their lives. Please…consider whether your body image views are realistic or not, and make healthy choices.