We have all heard it as catchy slogans or seen the propaganda pieces at Torrid or Kohl’s of loving your body, embracing your body, being proud of your body, and the list goes on. Not only that, but we have seen models or actresses like Hillary Duff, Ashley Graham or re-known magazines like Sports Illustrated or lingerie companies like Aerie promoting the acceptance of “thicker” females. Many, like Ashley Graham, are praised for their continuous efforts to promote acceptance of plus size females. As companies and well-known people promote these slogans, diabetes and heart conditions continue to rise. Today, more than 35% of the population of each state is considered to be obese; and as someone in the medical field, there is nothing more frustrating than seeing someone tell a little girl who is overweight, that she is just fine, or having to tell the parents of a young girl that their daughter died due to a heart attack.
Body image has gone from a health factor to a social construct. Many business and actresses/actors don’t realize the big impact that their slogans might have, or don’t care. Ashley Graham may not realize that she promoted a little girl to eat more, because she is saying that being “thick” is okay. Aerie model Iskra Lawrence, known for her Instagram post on accepting her body,
may not realize that she influenced a teenager to not do any sports, a teenager who ultimately developed diabetes, because being overweight is no problem according to what she sees on social media. Sports Illustrated may not realize that they indirectly caused a young woman to die from heart failure because she decided to accept her body instead of exercise, after seeing Ashley Graham’s cover. Though obesity has flat lined in the past few years, heart conditions and diabetes have increased, and child obesity is still at a high, with 1 out of 3 children between ages 6-19 considered overweight. Society needs to accept that body image is not a societal issue but instead it has become a health issue that is affecting not only adults but also children as young as 2 years old. The only one that should be determining if a girl’s body image, or weight, is okay, is the girl’s primary doctor through regular visits.
There is no such thing as a perfect body, but there is such a thing as a healthy body, and that is all society should be promoting.
Social media, companies, models, actors/actresses need to be more conscious on how much their slogan is affecting the teenager, young adult or little girl that is reading it. Models should be promoting exercise, not lying in bed eating chips, Iskra Lawrence, and just like society says Victoria Secret should not be promoting anorexia with their off the top skinny models like Kendall Jenner, Aerie should not be promoting obesity. Both anorexia and obesity can kill.
To the females, be proud of your body, but don’t remove 10 years, if not more, of your life.