Are You In Or Out?

by Bernice D on September 5, 2012 - 8:54am

            Small waist, defined biceps, six-pack abs, size zero, toned thighs, and the list can continue onward.  Nothing compares to the gratifying feeling of looking “ripped” or feeling skinny. But when this gratifying feeling turns into an obsession, actions can get out of control.  

            “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” as quoted by the professional model, Kate Moss, not only turned heads, but also further encouraged young girls and women to fall into eating disorders in order to be socially acceptable in today’s society.  Our stick-thin society has twisted the minds of the current and upcoming generations to believe that beauty and wholeness as a person solely rests on appearance and the outward presentation of one`s self.  This statement holds true for both women and men.  Men are constantly surrounded by pictures of clothing models and celebrities that cause them to think women only date men with big muscles and defined bodies. As for women, the constant desire to be thin and have absolutely no flaws is a major issue. According to Mirasol Eating Disorder Treatment Center, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health estimates that 8 million Americans (seven million women and one million men) have an eating disorder.

            Unfortunately, I too am guilty of this thought process.  As an athlete and highly respected student, my life is always on display and critiqued. Whether it was losing weight to sprint faster for basketball or making sure my outfits were in style and looking good on my body, the desire of perfection and social acceptance consumed my mind. Once the idea is in your head, it`s hard to think that there truly is any other means of reaching your fitness goals other than to diet hard or workout till you pass out. But what happens when looks fade and your body naturally loses its shape? What happens when you no longer look like the super model or the bodybuilder? Does what inside fade too?

            By no means am I bashing or slandering working out or eating well, but what I am against is the obsession to look like everyone else, the thought that beauty and character comes from what you look like. Each person is unique in their own way, having strengths and weaknesses, perfections and flaws. Although told many times, many different ways, if you are beautiful inside, it will surely show on the outside.  Love your body, love who you are and what you have and are going to accomplish. Eat right, exercise regularly, and know that your body should look healthy, not like everyone else.

Works Cited:

Rust, Jeanne. 2012. Eating Disorder Statistics. How Many People Have Eating Disorders? September 3.