Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Weight-ing Game

More and more (especially since it's summer), I've been hearing about every woman’s fight with her looks. Although this isn’t a new subject, I have been bombarded with information surrounding weight and plastic surgery more so than usual.

In our American culture today, a large part is about weight and body image. When women get together, a majority of the time, at least one says something about how they are dissatisfied with their body image. Appalachian State University calls this “fat talk,” and it requires the conversers to say something negative about their body, too. In fact, women in the conversation are looked down upon if they don’t say anything negative about themselves.

Consequently, one in five young women now take diet pills. The University of Minnesota conducted a study of 2500 teens and found that 63 percent of teenage girls are engaging in unhealthy weight behaviors, such as the use of diet pills, laxatives, vomiting, and skipping meals. Although the girls think this will help them lose weight, ironically, it actually is more likely to contribute to weight gain.

Some women are so upset with their looks, that they are demanding drastic changes to their body through plastic surgery. One woman asked for her belly button to be taken completely off.

How has it gotten so bad that we hate how we look? Models in the 1980s, such as Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, were regularly a size 4 to 6, however, now, model sizes are 0 to 4. When did a size 6 become fat?

We need to embrace ourselves for who we are and what weight we are normally. One study has shown that actually being happy with yourself leads you to be at a healthy, normal weight. Tracy Tylka, assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University, demonstrated how women who are more comfortable with their bodies are far more likely to follow a healthy eating regimen.

"The message that women often hear is that some degree of body dissatisfaction is healthy because it could help them strive to take care of their bodies. But it may be just the opposite: an appreciation of your body is needed to really adopt better eating habits," Tylka said.

If everyone looked the same, it would be boring. Variety is the spice of life, so let’s live it up!

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