I came across a video on Facebook with Nev Shulman and IO Tillett Wright (Co-hosts of MTV’s Suspect) talking about how body image in the media is completely unrealistic. Unfortunately I couldn't find a link to it but these are some of the things that were shared:

  • 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies
  • Only 5% of women naturally have the body type portrayed in American media
  • Most models weigh 23% less than the typical woman
  • 20 years ago, that difference was 8%
  • This issue affects men too (Look at movies like Magic Mike)
  • 25% of average weight males think that they need to “bulk up”

Not a lot of people know this, but I have a thyroid disease (called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis) that causes me to gain weight unexpectedly and causes my hair to fall out. For a long time I couldn’t gain weight and then all of sudden I was having trouble keeping it off. Do I try to workout often and eat healthy to combat this? Yes. Do I compare myself to other people while doing so? Absolutely not. Quite frankly, I don’t give a damn how you think I should look or what you have to say about my appearance, so keep that shit to yourself.

The majority of my family has made a point of telling me (and everyone else in the room) that I’ve gained weight as if it’s really any of their business. What none of them know is that I have this disease so every time, I walk away because if I stay and say what I’m really thinking, there will be hurt feelings.

I know that I’m not the kind of person that cares what other people say about me, but I really wish that I could project that onto other people. I cannot stand when girls watch things like the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and then body shame models or themselves. Let me be clear, I love the VS Fashion Show and I gladly watch it making note of how gorgeous the girls are and simultaneously eating pizza. Judge me if you want to. I still don't care

Why is it that people think that EVERYONE has to look just one certain way? Why do people buy into the bullshit that society puts in front of us? For example, Kim Kardashian. Men and women are constantly raving about how much they love her body BUT let’s not forget that it is not real! She had plastic surgery on her face and had the fat taken out of her stomach and put into her ass. I'm not saying this is a bad thing since she is obviously much more comfortable with her body now. That's great, but don't hold women's bodies to a standard that 1. is not real and 2. unattainable for many people. You cannot tell me that if a girl that you knew personally did the same thing, that she wouldn't be judged by the people around her. So then its damned if you do and damned if you don’t. She doesn’t look good enough as is but if she follows the footsteps of the woman you can’t stop talking about she’s fake. Seriously people get a grip. If Kim K is happy with the way that she looks (which she obviously is) then good for her, but you are not her and there is nothing wrong with that.

What everyone needs to understand is that everyone’s body is built differently. Some people have slow metabolisms, some have curves, and some naturally have a lot of muscle mass. You might not look like Channing Tatum and Adriana Lima but so the fuck what? If you are ever uncomfortable with the way that you look, take a second to ask yourself why. Is it because someone told you that you need to look differently? Is it because you compared yourself to someone else? If your body image is distorted by the people around you and/or the media, then you really need to take the time to think about the influences around you.

To ensure that I don’t sound like a hypocrite, the reason that I workout and eat healthy (or try to) is to make sure that my health isn’t too badly affected by my thyroid disease. Also, because I played sports for a really long time and I love how great I feel after a workout. Sometimes it does help combat the disease, but the symptoms are so unpredictable that I really can’t tell if it makes a difference or not. When I workout, I use videos from FitnessBlender.com. Husband and wife duo, Daniel and Kelli Segars, are big on eating real food, getting in shape the right way, and not torturing yourself in the gym so I love them. Since I’m talking about body image check out Kelli and Daniel’s rant on the topic:

https://youtu.be/InQvGUy_RsU

Also you can check out Kelli’s personal story about how she realized that starving herself is never the answer to getting in shape. She was overweight, combating and eating disorder and literally killing herself in the gym. Now she's in amazing shape, healthier than ever and never skips a meal:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM99CXSPcVM

 

This is a prime example of why you really need to listen to your body and make sure that you’re getting the nourishment that you need. With all of the people shoving diet teas and weight loss pills in your face, it is so easy to fall into those kinds of things, but is that really what you want for yourself?

One thing that I loved about my university is the Wellness, Alcohol, Drug, and Education (WADE) Office. They do events like Wellness Week and Love Your Body Week that focus on the importance of loving yourself for who you are and making sure that you understand that wellness is more than just your physical state. I always participate in these events because the importance behind them is so worth the time.

Okay, my rant is over.


Moral of the Story: Never let anyone, especially the media, tell you that you’re not beautiful.